Taking steps for student safety

Prowler Staff

The rapid growth of violence in schools is causing many facilities to increase their security across the board.

In response, District 202 has begun the new A.L.I.C.E. training for students in the buildings. The students are required to participate in the lockdown drills and follow A.L.I.C.E. procedures in order to prepare them for any possible threat directed at the school.

Along with the new A.L.I.C.E. program, District 202 has begun to enforce stronger security at activities outside of school as well. At the football games, North now requires all bags to be searched to eliminate any threat that could be brought into the stadium during a game.

With this new rule being enforced, many students are starting to feel safer in their environment and more comfortable in the school building during the school-hours. Even so, that does not eliminate the need for more security, especially in after-school activities.

A rising threat of violence is noticeable in schools, such as the recent homecoming at Lockport High School, where a BB gun was brought to campus during the dance for which two students are now facing charges.

But not all threats are from a BB gun. When the Parkland shooting happened, many schools began to lock down on security, and students began protesting gun violence. In a time where there is as much hatred, measures need to be taken to keep students safe, and District 202 has begun to take the necessary steps forward in order to ensure the safety needed.

This does not mean that more cannot be done.

First, there are the football games. Although the searching of bags is an important step, the fences that surround the stadium typically remain unwatched and easy to climb if someone truly wanted to cause damage. The fences are easy to lift from the bottom and easy to scale. The lack of attention to it can pose a threat as many younger students will sit around the fence and block the view that security would normally have.

A fix to the fences would be to completely replace them or make them less climbable. This could prevent someone from crawling under or over and make it difficult enough to give security time to act and catch the intruder mid-action. An even cheaper option is for the staff to stand near the fences rather than congregate by the front gates. These adjustments can be beneficial as someone who wishes to sneak into a game is less likely to do so if it is too much of a hassle.

Another area that could be improved with the school security is more monitoring of the entryways to the school-building.

In the morning when all of the students make their way into the facility, there are not a sufficient number of administrators watching the entrances/exits. This can lead to an intruder simply making his way in posed as a regular student, especially if the person is younger and can blend in easier. If administrators were present each day, though, they would not be able to recognize every student, or be able to see that something was out of the norm if they were present every day.

This could be solved by having specific administrators tasked with guarding each entrance/exit every morning and end of the day and closely monitoring student behavior to assess whether there is a threat. Realistically, this is a step down from the extreme option of having metal detectors and staff searching students which is done at many Chicago public schools.

Two of the biggest issues regarding student safety can easily be solved with school security in District 202, and all it will take is a few rearrangements or some funds in order to keep the students of modern day safe from harm in school.