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Safety at schools: recent events set new ID policy into motion

Safety+is+always+on+the+minds+of+the+administration+at+the+high+school+according+to+Ryan+Rubenstein%2C+assistant+principal.+In+light+of+recent+events%2C+Rubenstein+and+other+faculty+have+put+forth+a+new+I.D.+policy+increasing+safety+measures+to+create+a+safer+environment+for+students+at+LZHS.
Safety is always on the minds of the administration at the high school according to Ryan Rubenstein, assistant principal. In light of recent events, Rubenstein and other faculty have put forth a new I.D. policy increasing safety measures to create a safer environment for students at LZHS.

Safety is always on the minds of the administration at the high school according to Ryan Rubenstein, assistant principal. In light of recent events, Rubenstein and other faculty have put forth a new I.D. policy increasing safety measures to create a safer environment for students at LZHS.

Photo used with permission of Jackson Madison County School

Photo used with permission of Jackson Madison County School

Safety is always on the minds of the administration at the high school according to Ryan Rubenstein, assistant principal. In light of recent events, Rubenstein and other faculty have put forth a new I.D. policy increasing safety measures to create a safer environment for students at LZHS.

Ria Talukder, Co-Spotlight Editor

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Students started off their academic year by entering the new year using a new entrance; now, halfway into the year, they must now enter the building and face new policy.

Announced on February 27 over the morning announcements, administration relayed to the entire student body a new policy that would require them to have their schol-issued student ID’s on them every morning to enter the school building. The policy will begin starting tomorrow, March 1.

Prior to this announcement, administration had not communicated the information to students or their parents, according to Ryan Rubenstein, assistant principal.

“It’s [policy] we have always talked about in the past,” Rubenstein said, “but the events of the past couple of weeks made us reevaluate the situation and it was easy to make the change.”

Recent events as Rubenstein mentioned have increased growing security concerns across high school’s nationwide. According to the Washington Post, two dozen children are shot every day in the United States, and in 2016 more youths were killed by gunfire–1637–than during any previous year this millennium. Only two months into 2018, the United States has already seen 8 school shootings, according to CNN, the most recent being the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Many schools across the nation are enacting security changes following these events. After some discussion, the decision to follow this change was made by administration at the high school and district, said Rubenstein.

“We’re continually looking at our practices when it comes to school safety. Making the school safer is something we have talked about many times,” Rubenstein said. “Anything we can do to enhance the safety of students and staff, we will do and we continue to work toward that on a daily basis.”

The new policy requires students to show their ID at door 7, the main entrance, and 13 and 14, the bus doors, where security will check their ID’s. If students are not carrying their ID, they must log in with a school official who will verify their attendance, and they will be expected to purchase a new ID. Rubenstein affirms that pre-existing security already cover these doors ,so a matter of additional personnel should not be a concern. According to Sherri (last name cannot be shared), security officer, she and other coworkers found out about the change the same time as the rest of the student body.

“We only have [some time]  to implement the policy,” Sherri said. “And since we just found out this morning, it’s going to take us a little bit to find out who goes where and figure out the [logistics].”

Sherri and Rubenstein both acknowledge certain students might have an issue with the new policy, mainly students who do not have their IDs. Sherri also mentions certain students do not like handing out their IDs to security officers, as they see it as a privacy issue where they do not like having their location “being tracked”.

“The only thing we’re doing is making sure [students] are safe. We want to keep track of who’s [here] just in case anything does happen, like down in Florida,” Sherri said. “As a professional security officer, [school shootings] have changed our perspective because we can see throughout the day more places that need to be more secure at the school. We need to know who is in the building to ensure that something like that never happens, and if it does, we will know who was here.”

Sherri affirms this is the best that can be done to implement higher security at the school and supports the new policy, despite any concerns that might rise from students or parents.

“For your safety, since we can’t be armed, we have to be checking IDs,” Sherri said. “If you have [a better suggestion], it’s up to you to bring those up at board of education meetings.”

Rubenstein does not anticipate concerns from parents as he believes they will agree this is what’s best for their children’s safety and not a policy created to inconvenience people. For this reason, Rubenstein hopes students will support the new rules as well.

“We all have a role in school security. Security officers, teachers, and students. And that role is important every single day and not just two weeks after an [incident]. It needs to be taken seriously on a daily basis,” Rubenstein said. “Everyone places a role in that.”

Rubenstein, however, guarantees the administration is always listening and they will reevaluate and make changes if necessary, based on how the first few days go.

“If people have questions, then let us know. We’re not trying to hide anything. We’re not playing ‘I gotcha’,” Rubenstein said. “We’re trying to ensure that the people that are in this building on a daily business are the people that are supposed to be.”

 

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Safety at schools: recent events set new ID policy into motion