Recent school shooting sparks new school safety policies

Tower Editorial Board

Last Friday, March 2, assistant principal Cindy Parravano made an announcement on the P.A. at 3:04 p.m. The school stood still, even after the final bell rang, to listen to her words. The message within them disclosed several new changes to school policy in light of the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The new rules dictate that all entry points to South remain locked during the course of the school day, even during lunchtime. The only two doors students can use to enter the school at lunch are doors L and C, which are by the S-lot and Cleminson respectively. Furthermore, students are no longer allowed to walk outside during passing, which restricts all movement between buildings to the second-floor bridges.

We at The Tower understand the need for new safety procedures. However, we do not believe that regulating student traffic in this way is an effective method of preventing harm to us or our peers. Besides that, the rules simply hinder the daily lives of students and obtrude into our day.

They make the hallways more crowded and the routes between classes more difficult to navigate. Now, students have to take longer routes to reach their destinations, potentially making them late for class. The lunch policy is simply inconvenient, especially with the size of the campus. Limiting access before and after school is also inefficient because the vast majority of students don’t spend much time there outside of 8:00 to 3:05. On that thread, there is also restricted access before class that may make people tardy for their first hour because they may have to walk around the school to gain entrance.

We believe that most elements of the policy are, in general, will be ineffective in the way they may protect South. It seems to us that if there is a person who is so intent on causing harm to the students here that they are willing to bring a firearm to kill people with, then they will not be deterred simply because the doors are locked. Nothing short of giving South the security measures of a prison– and stripping students of the liberties that make us proud to be Blue Devils, especially considering that we are one of the only schools in the state that offers an open-campus lunch– would provide a sure defense against a gunman.

A potentially better solution would be to issue student IDs that have electronic chips, so they can unlock doors. This would let students have access to the buildings during normal hours, but still would not allow intruders to enter. Perhaps a more judicious and reasonable solution to this threat would be practicing for it. Instead of installing complex security measures to try to keep out a shooter, South could find more practical and less time-consuming ways to prepare for this type of emergency. Although teachers already undergo some training on how to react if there is a shooter, the school could further prepare its students and faculty so that there would be no doubt in this type of situation.

Nevertheless, we still believe it is important to respect and follow the rules that our school place before us, despite how much we may dislike or feel inconvenienced by them. However irksome they are, we must trust that these new standards are here for our protection and overall benefit. We realize that administration must take some type of stand to protect us after such a national tragedy. However, while we appreciate the intentions of the administration and their goal of keeping us protected, we encourage students to address our faculty with better and more practical ideas to more address the situation at hand.