Enhanced security seeks to make school safer


Students enter on the west side of the building before first period.

Editorial staff

This year school administration has made it more obvious that student security is a priority. Security checks have become more common this year at main entry points throughout the building. District safety coordinator Lieutenant Peterson leads the effort to enhance student and building safety. 

An algorithm establishes the locations, dates and frequencies of the security checks. This year, 10 checks have been held at various entrances including doors 30 and 16. The open gate metal detectors use the same technology as those found in airports and can detect knives, guns, ammunition, explosives and other weapons. These scanners are new to the building this year and the eventual goal is for them to be used more frequently for sporting events and school entry. However, administration and security does not want to make the school appear dangerous by implementing excessive security protocols.

Last year, metal detection wands were used upon student entry similar to those seen at sporting events. This year’s new security gates are individual columns that weigh approximately 25 pounds each, making them easily transportable and user-friendly. They can be set to a “school mode” to detect certain devices and protect the privacy of students while effectively scanning for threats. Cell phones, jewelry, watches, and other similar objects will not alert the detectors. Because of their user-friendliness, they do not have to be a permanent installation. The ability to store the detectors away during the day allows the school to maintain a more welcoming and clean environment.

Routine security checks should continue to be a priority because the risk of danger within the school far outweighs the time and effort it takes to ensure safety. Although the current security system is reliable and efficient, it should be more frequent. Only having 10 checks this school year is better than none, but far too few considering that the fourth and final grading period has already begun. 

The initiative to improve school safety should be applauded, especially considering how often  administration advertises that the safety of the student body is a top priority without providing physical evidence of such goals. It is refreshing and promising to see the fruition of a plan that aims to improve the school environment.