Security Changes

By: Abigail Gindlesberger
“Changes call for innovation, and innovation leads to progress,” Li Keqiang. Over the summer, Flora High School underwent multiple changes in security for the safety and protection of its students.
There were three major adjustments to the school: thirty-eight digital cameras with a new DVR system, panic alarms at every door, a second set of doors were installed, and an additional student and faculty entrance was added in B-hallway.
Flora High School Principal, Mr. Toby Pearce, and the faculty made the decision to make security policy changes after the tragedy in Florida last year. Pearce stated, “We could no longer sit back and say that wouldn’t happen in Flora.”
For District Superintendent Dr. Joel Hackney, providing a safe school environment for all staff and students is a continual goal of his. He and the Flora High School administration have been working closely with the Flora Police Department and different security consultants to ensure the safety of the school.
Hackney described the monetary aspect of the changes, explaining part of the changes were paid for out of grant funding and the remaining out of the district operation and maintenance funds.
When asked what modifications, in their own opinions, were the most beneficial to the school, Pearce and Hackney concur all the changes were equally essential in improving school security. The new and improved entrances to the building and security camera system being the greatest assets to school safety because they created a small lobby before guests enter the school with an intercom and bank box to communicate with guests at the window, and finally,
In addition to the school, Pearce’s job description underwent a major shift due to the changes made; he now spends a greater percentage of his day in a security role. This entails physically monitoring the doors as students enter and leave the building. While most would view this as an annoying task, Pearce chooses to see the brighter side of things stating, “It’s not really a bad thing, I get to welcome kids back into the building.”
Pearce wasn’t the only one changing along with the school, the FHS faculty also had to adapt considerably. Though they had all undergone security training prior to the adjustments made to the school, they also have to reacquaint themselves with the new policies and plans in times of crisis.
The teachers also had a hand in deciding what modifications were imperative for the coming school year. Pearce noted they were adamant about having the door alarm system because it would only make the school safer by having just two doors in use at all times. Pearce gushes about his faculty, stating “The staff has been great; some came voluntarily in the summer for training on how to better defend their students if necessary.”
To continually improve the security precautions of all schools in the district, Hackney plans to have a district security committee in the future that consists of teachers from each building who will discuss the safety measures and procedures for the district.
A leading cause of complaint in every school stems from the student’s belief they had no input regarding the changes made in their school. However, Flora High School students had a considerable amount of input concerning what additions should be made. For instance, Pearce met with the Student Council to discuss the changes and the need for additional security precautions in the school. The council explained the student body’s desire for an additional entrance/exit due to the location of the parking lot and a large number of students entering and exiting at one time. The Administration took their suggestions into account and the B-hallway entrance was added.
Regardless of who in the Flora Community Unit School District you speak with, they all have the same goal: keeping their students safe, and these new security changes are the first step.

Posted by on September 4, 2018. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.