What Can the School Do to Make Students Feel Safe?

In a poll taken by this publication, 38% of students said they did not think North did enough to ensure safety. That’s a dangerous number; it is incredibly important to the functioning of the school for students to at least feel safe.

Mass shootings have been one of the most pressing issues this year, and in light of that, one would think that the security of students would be of paramount importance. The sad reality is that schools are a “soft target,” and that we do have to be aware of the possibility. This isn’t a problem with an easy solution. Turning schools into airport security would be inefficient and detrimental to the mental health of students, but, as our poll pointed to, many students don’t feel safe within the current system.

It’s not as if North isn’t doing anything to insure our safety. We do have a “dedicated school resource officer,” but, according to another Insider poll, 73% of students didn’t know he existed. Obviously this isn’t the officer’s fault. The problem is the lack of communication between the administration implementing security measures and the students who benefit from those measures.

So what can it do? The first is to clarify that the school does, in fact, have a functioning security guard. If three quarters of the student body doesn’t know about him then it is the school’s job to be clearer about what it is doing to protect us. Locking most of the doors during the day is a nice idea, but doesn’t really do anything, especially when the two main doors are still open. South is “developing plans to provide ID Fob access or pass code access to several locations” which seems like something pretty simple the school could do to help students feel safe.

The best thing the school can do is be open about what protocols it has in place. The actual likelihood of a mass shooting occurring is slim, there have been 63 since 2013 which means the chance of one happening here is low especially because there haven’t been any is Massachusetts, but that doesn’t mean the worry over them should be discounted. People have a right to feel safe in public institutions, and if the solution is as simple as informing students more clearly of what the school is doing, then that seems like something the school should make a priority.  In addition, North should open up a dialogue with students to find out what it could do to make them feel safe. We aren’t trained security personnel, but the problem is less the prevention of threat and more the insurance of student well-being because 38% of us don’t feel safe, and that is a serious problem.

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