South’s safety precautions should be more balanced, safe for every student


Cartoon courtesy of Abby Ferry ’16

With the return of detection dogs after a two-year hiatus and new safety policies being implemented, administrators are sending a clear message that South will not tolerate nonsense.

Clearly, administrators have the students’ best interests in mind and want to create a safe learning environment for everybody at South.  The steps that have been taken by the administration so far are beneficial for our well-being and will help to ensure learning is the primary focus each day at school.

Although it is inevitable students will abuse illegal substances, it will now be much harder for them to do so on school property and administrators want them to think before bringing anything on campus. This is an admiral step for the administration to take..

Other safety precautions including secure doors, where visitors from 8:07 a.m to 3:05 p.m, can only enter the school through the Fisher Road doors, and card readers added to entrance doors help to ensure students and staff are working and learning in a safe environment.

However, some new or newly-enforced policies like the implementation of stricter hall pass rules seem unnecessary.  Having to interrupt a lesson to get a planner signed to go to the bathroom or locker is tedious and burdens teachers.  And if a student wants to abuse the hall pass system, he or she will find a way without teacher permission.  Likely, it will be well-behaved students who never abused hall passes in the first place who are stuck to deal with this nuisance.

Although occasional detection dog searches are necessary, students who follow the rules should be able to learn without interruptions and inconveniences.  The purpose of these searches and other added policies are to keep the school environment distraction-free so it is necessary that they themselves don’t become interferences.          

It is impossible to keep track of all student activity at every moment during the school day, and administrators need to trust that the school population will be where it needs to be at the appropriate times.

However, students need to realize the power the administration has to implement new rules and take away our privileges like open-campus lunch if it is deemed necessary to increase safety.  

Bringing drugs to school or sneaking out of class to buy something from Farms Market might seem like it only puts individuals at risk, but in the long run, the entire student body could be affected.  Administrators are right to make student safety a primary focus.  

In addition, administrators should also should consider who their policies are affecting.  While safety precautions like detection dogs and card readers undoubtedly promote safety on our campus, school officials must know where to draw the line between student well-being and  being overbearing.