Shootings bring notice to security


With the increase in school shootings, security in schools has received added attention.

Ten students were killed and nine wounded at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on Oct. 1, making it the 45th school shooting this year and, according to, the 142nd school shooting since 2013.

Security guards here are trained to spot danger on campus. There are five total armed guards in both buildings during the school day, according to Assistant Principal Craig Fantin.

Director of Security Mike Romano has been here for more than 17 years. He says security officers do what they can to protect the campus.

Community members here have access to the outside part of the campus, including the track and paths.
“You probably see people from the community who just walk, and they’ll just walk across the campus. You hope for the best, but you can’t be paranoid about everything,” Romano said.

Romano says security screens everyone who comes inside the building; however, screening outside visitors is “not functional.”

“There’s no screening process for the outside,” he said. “It’s not realistic to screen every person who sets foot on a piece of public property even during a school day.”

There is no procedure or screenings for getting on the track, and the public can use it when gym classes are in session.

Craig Sline, who’s been a security guard for 18 years, said the situation at the track is generally controlled.

“I think for the most part [it’s] safe because we monitor what’s going on,” Sline said. “The gym teachers outside monitor what’s going on. If they think there’s a problem, they’ll notify us and we’ll deal with it.”
Security guards aren’t the only ones responsible for student safety.

Physical Education teacher Aubrey Dondlinger, who sometimes takes her students to the track and field, said she never feels unsafe.

“If we’re outside, we have walkies on us at all times. So [if] there’s ever a suspicious person on the track or someone that I think shouldn’t be there, we walkie security, and security can come right to us. That helps make us feel a little bit safer.” Dondlinger said.

For students to be safer, Sline suggests for students to not be so engrossed in their phones when texting and walking, especially in the parking lot.

“They’re oblivious to what’s around them,” Sline said. “That’s a good way to get run over or robbed. Someone could come up to you very easily and rob you, assault you, attack you ‘cause you’re not aware of your surroundings.”

However, the security here runs well, according to Regina Handson, who has been a dean’s assistant for about eight years.

“Compared to the stories I hear from students coming from other schools,” Handson said. “I think we’re a pretty good school on safety. [Staff is] always asking students, ‘Where are you going?’ ‘Where should you be?’ and “I think that helps with the safety overall.”

Safety is a top priority in schools, and in the eyes of the faculty here, it seems to be in working order.
“Well let’s put it this way,” Romano said. “If it’s not broken there’s really nothing to fix, so I think we’re doing pretty good so far.”