The following is a continuation of our ongoing focus on gun violence at schools. This post is written by a long time LYSer.
Good ideas regarding school safety have been generated by multiple educators. However, I have not seen addressed the major concerns I have regarding campuses with multiple buildings. Having recently spent some time in a high school with this configuration, I have observed the following issues:
1. Students must leave the main building to attend vocational classes, athletics, theater, etc. and walk outdoors to those facilities. They do this every 45 minutes, 8 times a day.
2. There is zero adult supervision or security at every entrance and exit during this time or at any other time.
3. There is no gated or fenced area surrounding the campus, thereby allowing anyone from the street or neighborhood direct access to buildings and students.
4. If there is a plan of what procedures to take if an emergency situation occurs during these passing periods, the implementation of the plan would be near impossible, due to no visible adult supervision and monitoring.
5. Only one full time security officer is assigned to the campus.
6. Legitimate visitors must check in at the main entrance, present an ID, and receive a visitor’s badge. However, front office personnel are seemingly oblivious to the fact that a person with ill intentions will not check in at the front office, since he can enter the building from any other entrance.
7. The buildings have multiple nooks and other hiding places where persons can wait for opportunities to commit crimes.
8. Students do not wear IDs which makes it difficult to determine who is actually an enrolled student. There are no metal detectors or security checks of any kind.
The district recently passed a bond issue which includes an entirely new building for this school. However, that is years away before it is completed. What are they to do in the meantime? It is imperative that they train students to be more alert, to be aware of situations that do not appear right, to learn how best to protect themselves in various situations. And like we have all been told, “If you see something, say something.”
I would add, if you hear something, say something. Rumors abound but we must assume that they are true in order to avert danger.
Additionally, extra well-trained security must be hired.
Until all of these are in place, this campus is not secure.
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