South: Locked Out

By: Aidan Johnson

This year, South has implemented a new safety measure. From now on, during school, with the exception of lunch, all of South’s doors but the main office will be locked to help ensure the protection of students. However, many students are already finding challenges that come with this new system.
Since the rise in school shootings this past year, schools are analyzing and improving their safety measures. One of the main issues with South’s safety is the amount of doors that are in the school. There are around 50 doors that are almost always unlocked anytime during the day.
“When I first came to South I was extremely surprised by how many doors in the school were unlocked,” Officer Ryan Wolgamott said. “This is probably the single most insecure school in the 4J.”
For most people South seems like a pretty safe place, but there are a lot of things that go unnoticed by the students.

“Occasionally I would find transients just wandering the halls of South who had walked in right off the bike path by the main gym,” Wolgamott said. “For them it would be easy to steal something.”
Even though locking the doors may make the school safer, many students feel that there are some problems that have arisen.
“Most of school thefts come from students stealing from other students inside the school, so locking the doors wouldn’t really do anything to fix this problem,” senior Emma Strgar said.
Locking the doors may also factor in to students getting to school on time.
“If students have a free period the only way they can get into the building is through the office,” Strgar said. “If you have to park all the way down in the auditorium and then have to walk all the way down to the office, it can cause a lot of students to be late to class.”
Principal Stephanie Cannon, on the other hand, believes that locking the doors may help students.
“My hope is that locking the doors will mean students won’t be late for class,” Cannon said. “Students would have to time their schedules better to make sure they wouldn’t be late.”
Although the locked doors are an annoyance for the time being, Wolgamott feels that students will adapt to the locked doors.
“I think initially it will be inconvenient, but as time goes along people will adjust to it,” Wolgamott said. “It comes down to whether it’s more important to keep the students safe, or have that extra minute back in your day that it takes to walk around to the front office. For me the choice is simple.”

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