Bear Facts

The Admin Perspective: senior doors closed as entrance

The+senior+doors+have+been+closed+and+students+are+concerned+with+the+change+in+policy%2C+including+Mckenna+Walsh%2C+junior.+What+was+the+reason+for+this+change%3F+Officer+Stone+explains+why.
The senior doors have been closed and students are concerned with the change in policy, including Mckenna Walsh, junior. What was the reason for this change? Officer Stone explains why.

The senior doors have been closed and students are concerned with the change in policy, including Mckenna Walsh, junior. What was the reason for this change? Officer Stone explains why.

Photo by Parul Pari

Photo by Parul Pari

The senior doors have been closed and students are concerned with the change in policy, including Mckenna Walsh, junior. What was the reason for this change? Officer Stone explains why.

Parul Pari, Magazine Editor-in-Chief

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With the dropping temperatures and longer distance to walk, students are expressing concern over the ban of the use of the senior doors as an entrance into the school, forcing students to walk to the main entrance to enter the school.  Stone, who has had a career in law enforcement officer with 22 years of experience at the Lake Zurich Police Department and another 7 years at the Arlington Heights Police Department. , explained the reasoning behind this alteration in policy. Stone proposed the initiative of changing the entry point of the school to LZHS administration.

What prompted this change in protocol?

“Part of my job is to review safety plans for the district and the school and during my time here I’ve noticed a possible breach of security for the school. There is a packet written by the  Illinois Terrorism Task Force School Safety Working Group and there are a lot of recommendations that are not just from them but it is nationwide. One of these recommendations is to limit the amount of entry points into a school,” Stone said.

With more entrances into a school, there are greater chances for unknown people to enter the building without being accounted for.

“Schools today should be treated like airports and courthouses. We don’t have metal detectors, we don’t have bag checks, so I am limited to what I can do to keep the school as safe as can be. With that being said, I needed to come up with a plan to keep the school safe,” Stone said.

In addition to the desire to limit entry points, there were also complaints from security about students not following the original protocol of showing IDs in a proper fashion.

“[There have been] vast complaints coming from security.  The complaints ranged from students flat out refusing to show ID’s when requested, walking past security and refusing to stop when instructed to do so, use of false, expired, and altered ID’s.  Also, there have been incidents when other students have opened door #7 for others before security was there to man the door,” Stone said.

 

What about Door 7 makes it unsafe?

“Door 7, as you know, was kept open throughout the day with an unarmed person. That is adding an extra point of entry. I’m not just talking students. If I intended to do harm to this school as a student or as an outsider, I am going to survey the security at the school and guess what door I’m thinking. I’m not going main entrance because I could get locked in that vestibule before they let me in,” Stone said.

In the amount of time it would take the school to realize a breach in security through the senior door, according to Stone, a person with the intent of doing harm could have easy access to large concentration of kids

“Think about this for a second, if someone is intending on doing harm (not necessarily a student) how much is my lockdown delayed. When is the school going to be aware that there is actually an intruder coming into the school? Let’s just say one minute,” Stone said. “By the time teachers are calling in and we put the school on lockdown, what has already done at that point? You have classes four steps from that second door to the left. You have all those classes down the B hallway and you have all the classes towards the foreign language hallway, and then you have a crowded cafeteria.”

Stone points out that forcing an intruder to use the Main Entrance may prevent such easy access to potential victims, but he admits that this change won’t guarantee absolute safety.

“Sure, if anyone intends to do harm they can do it anywhere, I’m not naive to that fact or the fact that if they want to gain entry to a school or a courthouse, they will try to breach security,” Stone said. “Our idea of that front entrance is to slow someone down and address a threat as it comes in.”

 

What about the consequences of having an extra walk as temperatures drop?

“I did my homework on this. Do you know the distance between door seven and the upper lot? I stood outside and took a laser measure to the ‘keep right’ sign in the parking lot right by where I park my car. Do you know how far that is from door seven? 700 feet,” Stone said. “If you take that then from the sign to the main entrance door, I think that’s maybe 120 feet. You are taking approximately 820 feet. I walked it with Mr. Aiello, I walk kind of fast. It took us about 90 seconds to walks from door 7 to the main entrance.”

As for the cold, Stone’s perspective is that there are solutions to these personal inconveniences, such as dressing warmer.

“If you have to walk a little further and it’s cold, dress for the elements. You see kids out here in t-shirts and shorts and they say they’re  cold. Of course you are, you are in a T-shirt and shorts. Dress for the elements!” Stone said.

When weighing personal inconveniences and the safety of the school, Stone considers the safety of the school his number one priority.

“There’s things you can do to make certain precautions to make sure you aren’t late. It’s called being an adult and being responsible. When you go to college and have to walk to classes, sometimes it will be a quarter mile or half mile, that’s just how it is. The main complaint is the walk and being late for class. So dress warmer and leave a little earlier,” Stone said. “At the end of the day, if nothing happens, that’s great, and if someone wants to be mad at me, I hope it’s a long healthy hate, because I absolutely care about every one of you guys here and I want to keep everybody safe.”

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About the Writer
Parul Pari, Magazine Editor-in-Chief

As an Editor-in-Chief of the publication Bear Facts, Parul loves to stay busy. In addition to Bear Facts, she spends her time playing JV tennis, and volunteering...

1 Comment

One Response to “The Admin Perspective: senior doors closed as entrance”

  1. Ethan Buti on October 28th, 2018 10:47 pm

    This would’ve been the better thing to send out in place of that rather vague email that we got.

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The Admin Perspective: senior doors closed as entrance