Bettering School Safety

Olivia King, Editor-In-Chief

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There has been one hundred and fifty-four school shootings in 2018 according to Business Insider. Aside from those events, there have been stabbings, assaults, and other traumas taking place at K-12 schools and colleges across the country.

On September 12, 2018 a fatal stabbing took place at Fitzgerald High School in the city of Warren, just thirty-six minutes from Fraser High School.

Every school has different safety policies and processes to try and prevent these events and help students cope with the days following if they were to happen. Fraser High School has a progressive plan and students should feel safe here during the day. Interim Director Michael Pettyes from the Fraser Department of Public Safety was instrumental in creating this plan.

“Fraser Public Schools operates under the Fraser Public Schools Emergency Operations Plan…”  Pettyes said. “It puts the schools, law enforcement and other support agencies working together to identify responsibilities, develop and maintain plans and empowers employees to act quickly with knowledge and training to mitigate an emergency.”

Regardless of the fact that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) prohibits students from knowing the details of these programs, students can rest easier knowing that local authorities have a plan if something were to take place at Fraser High School.  

Due to the increase in violence in recent years,  school safety plans have been modified to keep up with changes.

“I am certain that safety policy did not exist twenty years ago,” Pettyes said. “The safety policies have changed since the seemingly endless acts of violence that have plagued our schools over the years.”

If a student feels nervous about a situation or knows of a possible violent event occurring, they are encouraged to talk to a staff member at the school in order to try and prevent a situation from getting any worse.

“Any student can speak to the School Liaison Officer at any time but if he/she is not available I would encourage that student to talk with a principle, assistant principal, a teacher, counselor or a hall monitor or a parent,” Pettyes said.

Interim Director Pettyes goes even further to say that he feels if more students were to speak up about uneasy feelings or situations it could help prevent more of these violent events from occurring.

Delaney Yoakum, junior at Fraser High School, has seen safety policies develop over the years says she personally feels quite safe during the day while classes are taking place. Last year, the school locked all doors except for the main office and an entrance on the Klein side of the school in order to manage and maintain the students safety when arriving to school.

“…The entrances we are allowed  in at the start of school make it safer,” Yoakum said. “We also have a resource officer so I feel a little better having a police officer at our school…usually when she’s armed.”

It has been  unfortunately proven that school safety programs are not ironclad and tragedies still occur. As a consequence, schools are taking new measures to keep their students safe. With modern and ever-changing technology and laws to assist, schools are adapting to these unfortunate situations. It takes time, but students should rest easy knowing that schools are handling the issue with utmost importance.

 

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