With all the recent activity going on at high schools, specifically Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students have started wondering, “Do I feel safe here at GCHS? Do other students here feel safe?”
17 people were killed in Parkland, Florida, ranging from ages 14-49, three of the victims being teachers. As a family member of one of the victims, it could make you have mixed feelings about the safety of students while in school.
There are many different thoughts regarding safety in public schools across the country. Brooke Batson, a GCHS sophomore, said, “I feel safe for the most part. Our cops in Granite City are very aware whenever something happens and always try to keep people calm and inform them of what is going on without causing panic, no matter what the incident may be.”
Many parents may wonder if their kids, while at school, practice any kind of precautions if an intruder were to actually enter the building. Brooke’s mom is the assistant principal at Grigsby Middle School, and she said that the teachers are the ones who practice the drills, but do not include the students, because in most cases, unfortunately, a student is most likely the attacker. Some teachers talk about these safety procedures with their students, but some choose not to have this conversation with students.
“I definitely think that there should be more than one cop on the high school campus, considering that we have three buildings that students have to walk back and forth from,” said Brooke. One cop to three different buildings is an uneven ratio. Although there are teachers in every building that are aware of their surroundings, there is only one cop on campus regularly, and with only one cop it is hard to keep track of all of the buildings at once. Brooke mentioned “One thing to make students here feel safer is to have a cop at every entrance rather than to have just one here in general.”
Having more than one cop on our campus regularly is a great idea, although keeping one at every entrance might not be feasible because of how much it would cost the school district.
Another option to making the high school safer would be enclosing the walkways, although that would also cost a lot of money. Some benefits of doing it would be that less people would have easier access to enter the school. It would keep snow off of students’ head in the winter, or rainwater in the spring, as students will not have to walk through the bad weather.
Because these couple options are most likely not going to happen anytime soon, students should make sure that they are aware of their surroundings at all times and not be afraid to report to an adult if they see anything suspicious going on.