Security Forums Quell Fears

Anna Izeppi and Aidan McHenry

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In response to the Parkland shooting, Warren Hills administrators held a series of security forums during lunch to help ease students’ questions about our school’s safety. Many students attended and were able to speak their minds.

Principal Christopher Kavcak, Assistant Principal Glenn Barker, Student Resource Officer James Faulborn, and School Security Program Director David Guth, conducted  the forums in a Question-Answer format.

During the March 1 meeting, one student asked about the measures the administration would take about rumors of an individual suspected as a threat.

Kavcak explained procedures in place for threats.

“We have a set of procedures that we would follow that involves us using resources like school psychologists, guidance counselors, School Based, and the Washington Township Police Department, if necessary,” he said. “There are a set of steps we’d follow. Obviously, [students] know that when they come into the school, everything on them –their cars, their lockers– are all subject to search.  If a student is suspected as threat to self or others, he or she would never be left alone.”

Another student referred to the recent board meeting and asked about whether current safety drills would be changed.

“Right now, we have to balance. We had that conversation; the conversation is to keep it as it has been, with the fire alarm,” Kavcak said. “How we should proceed with fire drills or if something like [what happened in Florida] happened here, I hesitate to say, because everyone knows what happened in Florida, so to know how we would react to some of those situations might just open us up more. We don’t share the whole plan because we don’t want to provide a roadmap to [a potential perpetrator].”

Another audience member brought up the question as to whether metal detectors were being considered.

“The idea of having metal detectors in the school has been brought to our attention by parents,” Kavcak said. “[But} what message does that send to the students? Does that make you feel safer or more scared to be in the building?”

Although a few students reacted positively to the idea of metal detectors, Kavcak pointed out that they are expensive and not easily implemented.

He also told students that it is not feasible for any major changes to be made to security procedures mid-year as they must first be researched, discussed, and approved by the board.

Officer Faulborn concurred with Kavcak, and encouraged students to continue voicing their concerns at the security forums.

“The fact that students  are aware of what’s going on and are voicing their concerns is very healthy,” Faulborn told the crowd. “The fact that they were able to get certain political people to change their views is impressive.”