Keeping breeches out of reach: security measures that keep LZHS secure


Photo by Parul Pari

These are statistics of security measures taken on a global scale across schools in the country.

Parul Pari, Staff Writer

Imagine walking into school, not knowing whether it would be your last time.

How administration makes the school secure has evolved over the past 50 years based on life-threatening circumstances that took place across the nation.

The man with a plan:

With years of experience in security, Mark Frey, LZHS resource officer, is in charge of keeping the school as secure as possible.

“[The security of a school] depends on the area and then the makeup of the kids. We don’t have a whole lot of violence in our community hence we don’t have a whole lot of violence inside the school,” Officer Frey said .

LZ’s security primarily consists of students scanning their IDs, and training for faculty members to protect both themselves and students according to Frey.

“I think [the most important aspect of security] is identifying what your problems are and then finding out a productive way [to address] those [problems]. I’ve heard talks of getting metal detectors here, and I feel that that would be a broad leap for what we are dealing with in this school in particular,” Frey said. “I think finding out what the concerns are and then addressing those [issues] little by little [is best]. If we have to keep uping the anti, because one security measure isn’t working, we can justify getting to those levels.”

By addressing the school’s threats in a proactive way, there are ways to build on the effectiveness of how a concern is handled, according to Frey, andthere is always space to improve.

“I don’t think the school’s security is perfect, and there’s always room for improvement. We, through the district-wide Safety Security Team, meet multiple times a year to go over what happens in the case of a tornado drill or an active shooter or fire alarms,”  Frey said. “I think, as long as those procedures are updated and reviewed constantly, which they are, it will help trickle down to what each [department should be] sharing with their staff at each school.”

The See Something Say Something program takes measures through cyber security according to Frey.

“We get a lot of our tips from either social media or the See Something Say Something anonymous tip line that we incorporated this year. If someone sees something in the hallways or sees something on social media or hears something on the bus or in class, instead of coming down to the dean’s office, which can be intimidating, they can just send something to that See Something Say Something email, and we can address that message accordingly,” Frey said. “I think that has made us a lot more proactive and, if we are seeing a consistent trend of issues, we can do something to address it.”

A student with an opinion:

One student who feels greatly affected by the changes in security, is Katie Kramer, sophomore.

“Lately, multiple people, possibly mentally unstable,  have gotten their hands on guns because of easy accessibility,” Kramer said.

School should be a place where kids feel safe to get an education, and because of that, she is willing to increase security, if needed according to Kramer.

“It is so important to go to school feeling safe, knowing that you can focus on your education instead of fearing for your life. Although we do have a security system, I don’t know if it would be enough [to] prevent an actually attack if one were to happen at our school,” Kramer said. “This is a tough topic to talk about, considering it’s so prevalent in the news lately, but it’s also such an important topic to talk about. People need to realize that these things will keep happening if we don’t do our part to maintain safety.”

21 years of changes:

The newly implemented security measure of scanning student IDs seems like a reasonable step in security for Josh Thompson, band director and father of LZHS sophomore who has worked at the school for 21 years.

“I’m a big fan of doing things that seem reasonable to do. We live in a world where, if we have to live in fear all the time, there is no way we can stop every bad thing from happening.I could go down the street and get blown up,” Thompson said. “There’s no guarantee anymore in life, and, I think, that it makes sense to check IDs when people come in.”

Security measures have been increased from since Thompson first started teaching at the high school.

“[When I first started in this school] we didn’t even think about it. I’m sure the doors were locked and there was the one main entry. Honestly, it wasn’t until 9/11 that everybody woke up [saying] ‘we can’t keep going along the same ways’. When I first started here, 21 years ago, I spent my time just trying to catch people that were smoking. That was my great joy in life,” Thompson said.

Joking Aside, Thompson first started working at LZHS to now, the forms of security present have progressed from security through teacher focused consequences into technological security measures.

“We have to continue to educate and learn how to treat people right,” Thompson said. “Most of what happens is because of our bias and prejudice results in the way that we treat people and when these things happen, it is not necessarily because security failed.”