Student Safety, Campus Security Changes

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Student Safety, Campus Security Changes

Will Jones

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 Keeping students safe is the number one goal for assistant principals at Rouse, which is why following the recent attacks on schools around the globe, they started restructuring, from the ground up, how to keep students safe. One of the biggest changes was a new policy to lock all outside perimeter doors, known as Student Safety First.

    “Last spring, there were a lot of incidents going on around the country,” Associate Principal Josh Haug said. “It caused us to look at what we were doing and see how we could improve safety around campus. What we noticed was most of the doors were supposed to be locked, but students were in the habit of letting people in the building, assuming they were here for a good reason. We needed to address that.”

     The Student Safety First protocol requires all outside doors to be locked, except for the ones directly in front of the main office. This means everyone entering the school building after 8:40 a.m. must check in with the receptionist. However, this change does not include PALS students or those who have an off period in the morning. Those students get a special ID card that allows them to skip the check in process and park in the front parking lot.

    “We were looking to give everyone [that has an off period] a pass, but we didn’t have enough parking,” Haug said. “We crunched the numbers, and even if no teachers parked up front, we still couldn’t fit in every student. So, we had to decide what was important, and we limited it to first and fifth period off periods and PALS students.”

    This change not only affects students, but also many teachers. Classes that meet outside, such as athletics, auto tech and technical theatre, have to adjust their class to comply with these changes.

    “I’m happy as far as the safety is concerned, but we do have to start rethinking some of our protocols and how we do things here at Rouse,” technical theatre director Brittany Baugh said. “Especially since we go out through the back door a lot and for tech theatre. We do a lot spray painting and dumping the trash. But, overall we’re happy we don’t have to worry about other people coming into our classroom and any harm coming to our area.”

    Although the door protocol changes many teacher’s schedules, it affects students the most. A small group of students are against the new policy, but the general reception has been mainly positive.

    “I was against [the change] at first because it was a waste of time but, once you start thinking about it, it keeps us safe, and it keeps people where they need to be,” junior Andrew Smallwood said. “I think it’s smart with all the recent stuff happening. Our school needs to keep safety in mind.”

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