Trading convenience for safety: New secure vestibule opens

Ella Houting '22, Mia Craparotta '22

After several months of construction throughout the summer, the new vestibule next to the Fisher door at South is completed in hopes to ensure safety for South students and staff.
“We did a security review a couple years ago and we came to the realization that we did not have one pathway into our building when visitors can be checked in,” principal Moussa Hamka said. “There’s been a movement across America to have a safe and secure entrance.”
According to Hamka, South was the only high school in Wayne County without a secu

The vestibule entrance is off of Fisher. It is the only entrance for visitors during the school day.
The inside of the vestibule features bulletproof glass and multiple cameras.
The inside of the vestibule features a new clinic which provides medication storage space and provides an alternative to students needing to call home. Photos by Ella Houting and Mia Craparotta, both ’22.

re entrance. The new vestibule will slightly change regular procedure at the Fisher entrance.
“When visitors come in they have to verify their destination and if you come to school later than 8:05 in the morning you have to go through the vestibule,” Hamka said. “Also, if you leave early through the Fisher door you must exit through the vestibule.”
The hall monitors location has been moved inside the room next to the vestibule, according to Hamka
“I’ve gone from being a hall monitor to a receptionist,” Kathy Agacinski said. “It’s great and a lot safer because when I was in the hallway I didn’t have a phone or computer in case I needed help or an unwanted visitor entered the school.”
According to Hamka, the vestibule is located by the Fisher door because that is where the traffic flows.
“Pretty much everyone who’s not a senior and goes through the S lot goes through the Fisher door, so it was the best spot,” Hamka said.
The windows in the vestibule are bulletproof and there are cameras in the front and the back, according to Hamka.
“If someone was holding something behind their back we would be able to see, there are also multiple cameras in the room outside the vestibule,” Hamka said.
Hamka said the vestibule also serves other purposes besides safety.
“We would have upset parents go right up to to the classroom or have graduated students to directly up to a teacher’s classroom and disrupt the class,” Hamka said.
There are also new rooms along with the vestibule that will be very helpful for students and staff at South, according to Hamka.
“First, there’s the vestibule then you walk in,” Hamka said. “Then, you can enter the attendance office or go past the receptionist and enter the building. There’s also a new clinic attached to the attendance office.”
According to Hamka, the new clinic provides a resting area for students and storage for sanitary products and medication.
“Before we didn’t have a proper clinic, you would just call your parents, and having a storage place for things that a lot of our students need on a daily basis is great,” Hamka said.
According to Jane Mckee ‘22 the new clinic will be a lot of help for many students.
“Having a new clinic is really nice for the students, especially if their parents can’t get there right away,” Mckee said.
According to Agacinski, besides having metal detectors in your school, the vestibule is the next best thing.
“You don’t want to feel like a prisoner in your own school, but we have to have some sort of security because what we had before wasn’t ideal, this is the next step in the right direction for the safety of staff and students,” Hamka said.
According to Mckee, going through the vestibule is not too much different than it used to be when signing in and out of school.
“Using the vestibule wasn’t nearly as much of a hassle as I thought it was going to be. I think it is a much needed precaution that will benefit everyone in the school,” Mckee said.
According to Mckee, although some students may see the vestibule as an inconvenience, it is important to make safety the number one priority within schools.
“I think having the new vestibule is a good way to ensure the safety of the students,” Mckee said.
Hamka said the new vestibule is hoped to ensure safety among students and staff and to increase security.
“There are bad people out there,” Agacinski said. “And if we can stop someone from coming into the school or any school anywhere then it’s worth it.”