Cutting out safety

Izzy Colón , news-features writer

Coming back to her car after a long day at school, Melanie Seibel, senior, finds another dent on her car. Seibel’s car has been hit several times while driving in the Dougherty Ferry parking lot due to lack of traffic direction. Seibel sees this as an effect of two security guards, who used to be in charge of directing traffic, no longer working at KHS due to budget cuts.

“We’re all bumper to bumper in the lot,” Hailey Ross, senior, said. “I don’t think that students know that they’re supposed to follow the rule of you go, I go. They’re all just in lines everywhere.”

Seibel says the Dougherty Ferry lot is always hectic after school, inconveniencing many seniors. She said many students are not cautious and there are small consequences, like dents and scratches on her car that add up over time.

“We have to pick up that extra slack [when it comes it student safety] because we don’t have anyone solely dedicated to it,” Levaughn Smart, KSD Coordinator of Safety and Security, said.

Smart emphasizes that it is necessary for students to become more aware of taking safety precautions.  He adds that it is uncertain if there will be anyone to take on a position directing traffic.

“That’s two less people in the building that allow us to interact with the students and build relationships with the students and problem solve,” Mike Wade, associate principal, said. “Ultimately the budget cuts affect everyone from top to bottom.”

According to Wade, 5 million dollars had to be cut from the budget, 4 million of which had to be cut this year. Wade said that the lot security was paid for by the safety and security budget.

Do you believe students' safety is compromised due to budget cuts?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“What we try to do is force as much of the bus traffic on Essex and parents pick up on Dougherty Ferry,” Wade said. We now have parents picking up on the Jewel path, because traffic is so ridiculously busy. Hopefully we can get it figured out, it’s not easy to put all these things together.” 

Ross and Seibel are forced to deal with traffic on a daily basis, with no input on how to solve the problem. They agree the traffic is a serious problem that needs a solution.

“Then people won’t be forced to wait or forced to go. It would make for a way faster, more efficient system.” Seibel said.

Smart agrees with them, he says ideally KHS would still have the two security guards.  Smart believes they played an important role in student safety by looking out for students in ways it’s difficult for them to do themselves

“I would like them to be here, but money dictates what we can and can’t do.” Smart said. “So now I have to find some other way to be a force to enable others to fill the gaps where we lost them. ”