Journal Address

SHS utilizes its resources to make school as safe as it can be


In November, a student was found skipping class. When searched, a loaded gun was found in his backpack. The search following the truancy is part of a longstanding policy stating that when a student is caught skipping, they are searched in student services.

While there isn’t much that can feasibly be done about preventing things like this from happening, SHS has many features of security set in place that do in fact benefit the safety of students.
Because most security measures function without student knowledge, it may seem as though the school doesn’t have much in place to keep students safe. However, what the school lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality.

SHS’s camera system, Avigilon, was updated as part of a $1.1 million grant given to the school in 2019 to help streamline its security. This update allowed for almost 100% of the school to be under surveillance as well as the software’s ability to track a person’s appearance through any camera as far back as six months.

While the administration isn’t keeping tabs on every student all the time, the system allows them to look back easily when needed after an incident calls for it. This is a feature used heavily in the ‘20-’21 and ‘21-’22 school years for COVID-19 contract tracing in the cafeteria.

The camera system, however, does little to prevent incidents like what happened in November. While the cameras don’t offer much preventionary aspects to school security, SHS has some other policies in place to help decrease the risk of unwanted individuals from getting into the school.

The front office has a double door system in order to prevent anyone unpermitted from getting in through the main office, as well as a doorbell camera at the front door one must use to request to get into the building before anything else can take place.

As far as the rest of the doors in the school, they are locked at all times and only accessible through key fobs on staff members’ lanyards. They are also equipped with silent alarms that alert administrators when a door is either opened when unpermitted or malfunctioning.

All doors are also marked as either “Go doors” or “Stop doors.” A “Go door” means that students can exit through those doors during school hours. When students go through “Stop doors,” it alerts the administrators when the door is opened.

While all these measures do wonders with preventing the entrance of potentially dangerous non-students into the building, there isn’t much in place to prevent a student from threatening the safety of school while already inside.

However, with over 2,000 students in this school, there is hardly anything to do that administration isn’t already doing that can actively prevent incidents from occurring.
Metal detectors can be used to detect objects like firearms, but it could also set off everyday school supplies, like spiral notebooks, as well as damage the school-issued chromebooks which are essential to class. Because of this, having metal detectors would mean every morning, more than 2,000 students would have to remove laptops and other electronics from their bag to even get in the building. It’s just too much to keep up with.

In an ideal world, there would be a solution to every problem and a preventative measure for every issue that could take place at school. However, the security measures being taken by SHS, while certainly not perfect, seem to truly be the best course of action based on the resources the school has.