Stay on the Safe Side

Do your habits help keep the school safe?

A+monitor+showing+a+live+feed+of+the+main+door+sits+next+to+secretary%2C+Nikie+Tapors+desk.+She+uses+it+to+check+peoples+credentials+before+letting+them+enter+the+school.

A monitor showing a live feed of the main door sits next to secretary, Nikie Tapor’s desk. She uses it to check people’s credentials before letting them enter the school.

Multiple students have reported being concerned about school security. Personally, I was also worried–it is not uncommon to see doors being propped open and students entering and exiting the school freely during the day. 

However, after an interview with associate principals Ashley Schwarzbek and Quiana Davis, I learned that we students can help resolve these issues and make the school safer.

First, I know it seems convenient to use doors in parts of the school that are close to you if you’re leaving the school momentarily to get something from your car or coming in from lunch, but it is important that you always enter the main door after exiting the school. This way, the office can check you in, and it makes it easier for administrators to know where students are during the day. 

Additionally, I discovered that coming into the school through doors that aren’t acceptable entry points like door 58 in the art hallway can violate school safety in many ways. The side parking lot is a small lot, and the door is used for deliveries and Special Education buses. Being dropped off or picked up in that lot can congest the space and make it unsafe for the people that need to be there. Plus, there’s no one in that space to screen students and know who’s coming in and out of the building, and their reasons for being there.

Another way to make the school safer is ensuring that you do not prop open doors, or leave doors open during the day. 

“We want the students to know what they can do to assist us in our security measures. And that is not propping doors to create vantage points so people can get in that should not be here.” Davis said.

I admit it is an easier option if you just need to leave for a short period of time, but it’s safer to use the main door in those situations so no one can get in.

At times when a door is not propped open, especially a door without a window, and someone knocks on the door to get in, the best course of action is to direct that person to the front office to get checked in. I understand that person may seem harmless, but I have learned that it is better to err on the side of caution and have them get their credentials and reason for visiting the school checked before entry.

“Just because you know, someone doesn’t mean that there’s not something that might be going on that will require them to be screened through the main doorway, right. Are they angry? Are they disgruntled? Was there an issue that maybe you don’t know about?” Schwarzbek said.

I agree that at times it might feel pointless to walk all around to the front of the school when you can easily enter and exit through any door in the building, and I too wish there were more designated entrances and exits for students, but it is best to uphold school policies to ensure the safety of ELHS.