by Lexi Kupor
Many students can attest that their high school career could not differ more from the experiences of their elders. Not only is our generation forced to navigate the unprecedented implications of technology, social media, and an all-knowing internet, but our lives are also plagued by a brand new phenomenon: the augmented need for school security. While LGHS ranks impressively high in terms of academic prosperity and the successful, well-rounded graduates it produces, it lags far behind in this paramount arena, and reform is essential to ensure the wellbeing of students across campus.
LGHS administration often prides itself on the school’s robust security staff and protocol, when, in reality, our emergency preparedness, or lack thereof, is utterly disappointing. One school resource officer for a campus spanning multiple acres is frankly insufficient, and the lack of encouragement for student interaction with the officer prevents the individual from being a very accessible source of support. Should LGHS follow the example of nearby school districts that utilize campus security staff and their myriad of resources, including through presentations assisting students entering adulthood and deciphering their legal and social rights, this officer can become a valuable reference and authority figure, as opposed to the elusive role currently filled.
Additionally, recent incidents have proven the weaknesses of our school security protocol, yet without careful planning and change instituted as a result. Several months ago, students enjoying their lunch break on the front lawn were alarmed by a booming explosion across the street, with some individuals choosing to run off campus out of concern for their safety. Instead of actively communicating to students the benign nature of the situation, school security and faculty seemed to lack an orderly response as frightened students wandered in confusion and distress. The school failed to distribute an explanation following the incident, leaving students to rely on information from their peers instead of a formal statement for teens and parents alike.
Constructive security reforms are especially crucial due to the open nature of the LGHS campus. While the school administration cannot control the construction plans of the school, they can instill useful regulations to ensure the security and peace of mind of students. LGHS staff members are often stationed around campus outskirts throughout the morning to ensure order across parking lots and entrances, as well as during Tutorial to prevent students from leaving campus. While it is unaccommodating to expect faculty to monitor campus entrances at all hours of the day, stationing specifically-designated security personnel around campus bounds at certain points during school hours is surely a reasonable request. Should students’ compliance with Tutorial rules be so important to LGHS faculty, so, too, should students’ safety.
While many may feel as though such requests prove irrational fear rather than faculty faults, it is essential to acquire preparedness and effective security protocol before the need urgently arises. While LGHS often chooses to increase security measures following a recent threat or incident, it is the responsibility of all community members to act proactively and collaboratively when considering such pressing matters.