The administrative team has made a number of changes to security procedures in order to create a safer environment. In an effort to maximize school security, administrators have implemented several changes to the fire drill and lockdown procedures.
In light of the upward trend of school shootings in recent years, as well as the fire at Woodson High School in 2015, school resource officer Mike Allen said there should be more accountability for students.
“If there is a big incident, then the school needs to know where every kid is, [and] who’s possibly still in the building so they can relay that information to first responders,” Allen said. “I think the Woodson [fire] made people realize that we need to do a better job.”
Changes to policies include requiring teachers to take attendance during fire drills, as well as specifying exactly where to crouch during the lockdowns.
“We’re trying to be a little better at getting people [safer] even when they’re inside the classroom,” head of security Steve Williams said. “If somebody had a gun and they were shooting through that [classroom] door […] the safest place would be the back of the room, away from that door. We’re emphasizing that more this year.”
Although the security team decided to enact the changes independent from the county, Williams said they used county research to decide how to change procedures.
“The county went through and said that it was a better way to conduct lockdowns,” Williams said. “So instead of just checking doorknobs now like we used to, we actually look in to see if they’ve moved their class out of the view of the actual door.”
Despite the team’s efforts to promote safety and have more accountability, there are students that say there is no difference.
“Even though the school changed how they do fire drills with the teachers having to take attendance, it’s hardly any different,” junior Wilson Tryon said. “People still move around a lot and go talk to their friends. It’s not any more organized.”
Williams said security could always improve.
“I think we are doing as much as we can right now with what we have,” Williams said. “We’re always trying to get better. We’re lucky [to be] in probably one of the most progressive school systems in the country as far as improvements go.”
Allen also said there could be other potential changes to implement.
“There was talk of trying to get teachers to be in certain areas, but that has not happened yet and I don’t know that it will,” Allen said.
The administration will continue to work toward increased student security, as well as accountability.