Students often crowd around locked doors in the morning, waiting for others inside to open the door for them. The administration decreased the number of unlocked doors by 80 percent compared to last school year. Photo by Sasha Dubson
Students attempt to enter the school in the morning. The school administration decreased the number of doors available for entry into the school throughout the school day in the interest of students’ safety. Photo by Sasha Dubson
Students adjust to new security measures
by Ella Koscher
In response to school shootings across the nation, the administration increased security measures by tweaking entrance door procedures. After shootings such as Columbine, Newtown and Virginia Tech, no state or federal laws have been altered to prevent gun violence. The administration, however, decided to take measures into its own hands.
On Aug. 19, an e-mail notified parents and students of a new door policy for the 2013-14 school year.
As students and parents read on, they learned that only four doors would be accessible in the mornings.
Principal Ryan McClure said he updated the policy in response to school security threats across the nation.
“[As I] keep on watching the news, there are just too many issues at different places around the country, and we want to try to make sure that we have some supervision…if a situation [were to occur],” McClure said.
McClure knows no system is perfect, but he said the administration must take measures to help ensure students are safe while at school, even if that means locking a few more doors.
“What we were really concerned about was the … security of students coming in and out of the building,” McClure said. “It makes for a [safer] environment for us to be able to know who’s here and who’s not here.”
According to McClure, a total of 31 doors have been open in the morning in recent years. McClure said this number was too high and decided security measures were necessary.
The new door policy, however, has drawn some criticism, especially from students. Many students find the security measure an inconvinience, while others seem unaffected.
Junior Katie Thompson said she is not pleased with the new door policy.
“I think the policy is unnecessary, because to my knowledge there has not previously been problems with keeping all the doors unlocked in the morning,” Thompson said. “I don’t understand why the policy was changed.”
Thompson also finds the policy as an inconvinience in the morning when she tries to enter the building with all of her school supplies.
“I drive to school and I park on Mount Holyoke, so I have to walk a long distance to find the closest, unlocked door while carrying a backpack, two textbooks, and my tennis bag,” Thompson said.
McClure is aware the new safety measure can be inconvinient to many students, but he said the safety of the students is the priority.
“I think the routine will eventually get to the point where they will get used to it. I know it is an inconvenience,” McClure said. “I’m well aware of that, but I think for the safety of the kids it’s an inconvenience… that we need to have.”