Administration proposes new security

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In a recent student senate meeting, it was brought up that a new gate or fence may be added on the campus of Granite Bay high school for security purposes. The question then arose- does GBHS need more security?

“I don’t think [fences] are necessary,” senior Olivia Huss said. “That’s also a waste of money and we don’t need it. Our school is already fenced in around basically the entire perimeter.”

The gates are meant to prevent students from leaving campus, but also protect them from potential outside threats.

“I think [the gates] are a little out of hand and it makes me feel unwelcomed and I don’t like it,” junior Michael Colosimo said. “I want to go to a school and feel like I’m welcomed there and not feel like they are trying to trap me so we can’t escape.”

Though the gates and fences are working well at preventing students from leaving school, this could potentially be the problem. In the event of an emergency in which students needed to leave campus, attempting to usher 2,000 kids out of the same front gate would not be safe or organized.

“I understand where they’re coming from in that they don’t want students leaving campus,” junior Shannon McIntyre said, “but if  we’re talking about safety, I feel most of  our concerns in our area is not going to be about staying in, it’s going to be about fleeing the area because if we’re talking about something as serious as a bomb … it makes us a target to stay clumped in an area,”

Deputy Joe Herrick explained that in a situation in which the students and staff needed to leave, all teachers, both campus monitors, himself, the assistant principals and the the principal all have keys to the gates.

“Hopefully the teachers have their keys with them,” Herrick said. “Hopefully we would be able to open up the gates quickly, because we don’t want anyone to be stuck here.”

Although the staff is prepared for an emergency, the actual chaos of one could create unexpected problems.

“How can teachers get there in time when they also are responsible for a class of students?” Huss said. “That’s honestly so unorganized I’m shocked … For evacuations, we need to come up with a better plan than there is now.”

Herrick also explained that the school is better off than most campuses because it’s blocked off on three sides. There’s a gated community with a blocked wall that contains no access points and on the opposite side there’s another neighborhood with a big fence going all the way down.

“You can jump the fence, of course, but as far as people coming and carrying heavy stuff like guns, it’s not very easy to do,” Herrick said.

There’s also a big chain linked fence across the back of the school, and the tennis courts have a gate that is locked before school and after school. During the school day, all gates are locked.

“Our school has an entire gate around it and doesn’t need anything else,” Colosimo said. “The whole vibe of our school from when I was a freshman is totally different. I used to like to come here and now I feel like it’s a prison and I don’t want to come anymore.”

If GBHS decides to put more gates and fences in, they are set to go in the back by the baseball fields and by the gym to prevent people from driving out behind the school.

“I think the protections from things like school shootings aren’t really a huge concern for us,” McIntyre said. “As the prestigious area of Granite Bay, I feel like we don’t have that many threats from outside, and the threats we do have from outside are taken care of by police. I feel like, if anything, we should be spending time and money on the behaviors of different students and the things that actually happen in Granite Bay high school.”

With the locked gates and an abundance of fences, the security is very tight at GBHS? However, Herrick said he still thinks it can be improved.

“Instead of having one officer here, we could have multiple officers here,” Herrick said. “We could have video cameras everywhere, that would be great. But the problem with video cameras is that we have to monitor those video cameras and I don’t have the time to sit and watch cameras all day long.”

Cameras would add to the already increased security at GBHS, and Huss said she doesn’t feel more security is necessary.

“Our school needs to stop acting like the kids here are so bad,” Huss said. “Increased security is honestly a waste of money and is just going to make students more aggravated. We already don’t like the new administration and that is what is causing us to act out.”

Security has been a huge issue at GBHS this year, but it’s still not the only issue, according to McIntyre.

“As a student at Granite Bay, I think the security at this school isn’t an issue, but I do think we ignore a lot of things that happen inside the school,” McIntyre said. “I feel like we should be more worried about protecting our students and what happens between students inside than what happens outside the school.”

 

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