School security issues brought to light after recent school shootings

BHS+students+bang+on+outside+doors+to+get+someone%E2%80%99s+attention+during+class.+If+students+leave+the+main+building+to+go+to+one+of+the+adjacent+buildings%2C+they+are+locked+out+due+to+the+new+security+precautions.
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School security issues brought to light after recent school shootings

BHS students bang on outside doors to get someone’s attention during class. If students leave the main building to go to one of the adjacent buildings, they are locked out due to the new security precautions.

BHS students bang on outside doors to get someone’s attention during class. If students leave the main building to go to one of the adjacent buildings, they are locked out due to the new security precautions.

BHS students bang on outside doors to get someone’s attention during class. If students leave the main building to go to one of the adjacent buildings, they are locked out due to the new security precautions.

BHS students bang on outside doors to get someone’s attention during class. If students leave the main building to go to one of the adjacent buildings, they are locked out due to the new security precautions.

Alex Mitchell, Photo Editor

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In light of what has happened at Stoneman Douglas high school, school security is creating talk all over BHS. Many changes are being made to improve security and relieve stress over the topic. Precautions like locking all doors, regular lock down drills, and informing students and faculty on security have been put in place.

“We’re working with city and county police departments, so first responders can get to know our building in case of an emergency,” Principal Brad Brown said. “We’re also locking all doors and becoming more alert and aware of our surroundings.”

These adjustments have brought conflicting arguments; some agree with the new choices, while others have many grievances about it.

“Keeping the doors locked makes me late to class every day,” senior Erasmo Galvan said. “I don’t think locking doors helps, but always watching the cameras and making the police more involved would be a better way to up security.”

BHS has hopes of new technology where the district can ensure more safety for the school. Currently cameras are in use for surveillance of all areas around and in the school, but Chief Yarborough and the Bastrop ISD Police Department are intending for more advances to the security system.

“We are working with IT to where someone doesn’t have to run to the PA to call a danger in,” Yarborough said. “We want them to call that in on their own phones.”

An officer is always on campus as addition to the security. Also, regular lock down drills will be put into practice to inform students and staff on how to react if the circumstances were to present themselves.

“If students are put into the situation of a lock down, we tell them to remain calm as best they can and listen to the staff because they’ve been trained,” Brown said. “We want them to know if there is a case of a lock down that police are responding as soon as they can. Overall, stay calm, do what the staff stays, be out of sight and stay quiet.”

The lock downs have allowed many students to feel more comfortable and calm in the case of a real lock down. But it also has had a negative reaction from some of the students.

“My immediate reaction during the lock down was fear,” freshman Job Watson said. “I was so scared when the fire alarms went off that I screamed. And to me the lock down wasn’t beneficial because it just freaked me out.”

In February during a Professional Development day, teachers and staff performed a drill with district police officers. This gave staff and administration a chance to practice in the case of a real lock down and to focus on details and mistakes brought to their attention by the police department. The same week, BHS had a lock down drill and taught the students the basics to remember, “Avoid, Deny, Defend.”

“Avoid the danger and run to the safest place,” Yarborough said. “Deny them access by locking the door. And do whatever it takes to defend yourself.”

BHS’ new safety regulations have been put into effect recently, and have hopes of giving students and staff the feeling of security and calmness while at school.

“Anytime something happens across the country it is a heightened awareness of it,” Brown said. “That’s people’s natural reactions, but once people stop and see what others are doing around them, like we are doing at BHS to help ease the fear, it calms them down. We live in a society where we have to be aware of our surroundings no matter where we are at, whether it’s the mall, school, theater, and we are doing our best here to lessen the stress and worry.”

 

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