By Michael Savo-Matthews (Business Manager)
With the recent school shooting in Southern Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school, many teens have been led to question the security of the schools they attend. Students come to school expecting a safe environment where they can come to solely to learn and gain knowledge, but this can be jeopardized when emergency situations occur. It is very important that all students are safe and can feel comfortable in their learning environments. As senior Allie Pearson stated, “I think it’s very important to remember that Nease has an open campus. While we do have a main entrance, there are chain-link fences around the school that can easily be climbed, and the back of the school has no fence at all. If someone wanted to get into our campus, it would be pretty easy, so I think it is important for students and teachers to report when they see someone out of place.”
One of the most important security measures we can take is to be prepared. It is always crucial that if a catastrophic event were to occur, students are ready and prepared to take action to protect themselves. Many teachers have gone over hypothetical situations with their students and what solutions could be best to protect the students. Sophomore Anamika Goswami points out when discussing what she believes to be important for the security of our schools: “For one, I think it’s important that most teachers are on the same page … just about every teacher had [this talk] with their classes about the recent school shooting and what to do in case one were to occur at Nease … I also must say that precautions such as the ones that were taken this past week, after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, should occur on the regular. At least at the beginning of the year, each teacher should take time to give a detailed description of what to do in case a shooter came on campus.” As Anamika points out, consistency is crucial for these emergency situations.
There are a few things that students can do to help prevent a situation like this from occurring at Nease. Students can speak up to the school board if they hear news of anything that could harm the student body to make sure that the situation does not escalate and become a real problem. In addition to this, students should make sure their opinions are heard when it comes to issues that can affect policy regarding an event like a school shooting. For example, if you have decisive opinions on gun control, and you want to see policy change in that area, speak up about those opinions. Attend a protest, email a local representative, or do whatever you think will make change happen.
Recently at Nease there have been more security measures taken to protect students and lessen the likelihood of an event like the one previously mentioned from happening. We have had a new fence installed to make us a closed, more secure campus and to protect against intruders. Last year, with bomb threats that we had here at Nease around fourth quarter, there was a system in place that helped prevent students from writing bomb threats in the bathroom anonymously. There are many drills that we practice to prepare for an emergency situation, such as fire drills, tornado drills, and lock-down drills, which would be especially important in a situation like the one in Southern Florida.
Featured photo: Victims of the recent Stoneman Douglas High School shooting are advocating for legislation to increase safety in public schools. (Photo credit: ABC News)