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Safety measures

Administration responds to questions about safety

Samantha Roberson, News Editor

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On Feb. 14, 17 people were killed during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Survivors of the tragedy have since then started a movement, prompting for gun control and overall public safety.

H-F is one of the only schools in the South Suburbs that requires students to walk in between buildings to get to each class. While most high schools only have a separate gymnasium, both of H-F’s buildings host core classes.

The openness of the campus have made some students question their safety.

“I honestly don’t think H-F does enough to keep us safe,” senior Gabi Bello said. “I think that since we haven’t really experienced real threats at our school, our security has become quite laxed when it comes to safety protocols.”

Principal Jerry Lee Anderson said that administration is listening and is constantly working on strengthening communication to ensure school safety.

“Each year, our administration meets with administration of our feeder schools and other local high schools to see how we can improve our existing protocols by going over the previous school year,” Anderson said.

Like all schools, H-F utilizes several lockdown methods during an emergency. The more serious the situation, the more severe the lockdown.

Spanish teacher Jon Miller recalls one of the most recent school lockdowns.

“The school will go on lockdown even when there aren’t direct situations on campus,” Miller said. “A few years ago there was a bank robbery in town and we kept students in class until police gave us the heads up that the threat had subsided.”

Some students say the administration is too slow to provide information to students.

On Feb. 16, a letter was sent to students’ homes notifying them of an incident that occurred earlier that month in which a student brought a handgun to school.

“H-F prefers to sweep things under the rug,” Bello said. “There have been times where students have brought (weapons) to school and students and parents weren’t made aware of this, or they are but it’s weeks after the fact. It’s a false sense of security in my opinion.”

However, not all students are concerned about their safety at H-F. In fact, some students feel that H-F is progressing to match other schools’ efforts.

“The new security system in A building was a great decision,” senior Paige Adams said. “Possible improvements could include doors that lock immediately upon the beginning of class. It’s just an idea, but would make students feel more secure.”

Safety was a big concern for administration during the National School Walkout on March 24.

“We were worried about having so many students in unknown locations. Even during passing period, we have an idea of where students are and we couldnt risk it,” Anderson said.

Despite being organized, students appreciated the effort administration put into the walkout.

“They accepted and even encouraged the voice of our students in light of the recent national walkout,” Adams said.

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