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School adds extra security

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School adds extra security

The new blue security buttons are located next to the existing fire alarms.

The new blue security buttons are located next to the existing fire alarms.

Emily Strenski

The new blue security buttons are located next to the existing fire alarms.

Emily Strenski

Emily Strenski

The new blue security buttons are located next to the existing fire alarms.

By Emily Strenski, Archer City High School

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The district has increased security around the campus, including new blue push emergency buttons, more key fobs and locked doors, and a vestibule in the elementary building’s main entrance.

“Every time a new incident occurs, we all observe,” Superintendent C.D. Knobloch said. “We want to prevent events such as the Parkland school shooting in Florida or the one in Sante Fe the best we can.”

High school principal Mandy Stafford said the school’s security is more efficient compared to other schools.

“This school’s security system is definitely way better than others,” Mrs. Stafford said. “All the doors actually lock here, which is a step up from the school I came from. There was one door that would never lock.”

Some students, however,  say that all the doors being locked all the time is a bit of a hassle.

“I do think that at least the a door over by the cafeteria coming in from the elementary should be left unlocked,” junior Shaylee Watson said. “It’s a bit tedious having to walk around to the front of the building during PALs.”

Junior Robin Samtlebe, a foreign exchange student from Germany, said that the school’s security is different from what he has experienced.

“In Germany, we don’t really have security,” Samtlebe said. “Anyone can come into the building between second and fifth period. During the 20-minute break, however, all the classrooms are locked.”

I feel very safe here, but it never hurts to improve”

— Amy Emrick

For junior Devin Komes, however, the security in the school isn’t quite as extreme as his old school in Tulsa.

“We had metal detectors that everyone had to walk through before they were allowed further in the building,” Komes said. “If they went off, an officer would pat you down. There were always cops just walking the halls of the building as well.”

Physics teacher Bill Crowley said he feels the school is doing the best they can, especially over in his wing of the building.

“I feel that the security issues in my wing has always felt unique,” Mr. Crowley said. “We’re the closest to the door and to the parking lot. It causes us to be more vigilant, to listen a little closer, watch closer. It’s nice that we are taking a few extra precautions.”

Freshman Carina Olivas- Hernandez, who transferred from Windthorst, said Archer’s security is the better of the two schools.

“The two security systems are pretty much the same,”  Olivas-Hernandez said,   “though not every door would lock and we didn’t have nearly as many key fobs. I like the security here more.”

Elementary principal Amy Huseman said the new vestibule placed in the elementary entrance makes the staff and students feel more at ease.

“Now no one really has access to the student hallways,”

Coach Huseman said. “It gives us a much safer feeling. Making sure all the doors lock also gives us extra assurance that we’re doing our best to keep people out. Students need to feel safe in order to perform their best.”

Elementary secretary Megan Franke runs the vestibule, and enjoys the benefits that come with it.

“Last year I was a librarian aide, so this is my first year being the secretary, and I honestly really love it,” Mrs. Franke said. “It keeps me busy, and I enjoy watching the kids go to the library and hear them ring the bell when they score well on their AR tests.”

Elementary art teacher Amy Emrick said she thinks the extra locked doors are a great idea for the elementary.

“I think that it’s a good thing,” Mrs. Emrick said. “With all the violence the kids hear about, it’s nice to know that we’re adding extra protection. I feel very safe here, but it never hurts to improve.”

According to elementary counselor Vicky Lopez, social media spurred the decision to add extra security.

“Social media is the spark,” Mrs. Lopez said. “I want my children, those at school and my own, to be safe.”

This story was originally published on Cat’s Claw on September 24, 2018.

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