Locked down

Amara Harper, features writer

As the bell rings, you run up to the door of your next class. You tug at the handle but the door is locked. You frantically knock to no avail. Before you know it, the tardy bell rings, and you are officially late to class.

Recently students have been faced with these situations due to a new policy at KSD. The new “locked doors” policy was enacted for the 2018-2019 school year, and states that all the classroom doors, as well as exterior doors, must be locked at all times. According to Dr. Michael Havener, KHS principal, this is to help ensure the safety of all students. 

“This is all part of the process of trying to secure our campuses,” Havener said. “This was one of the recommendations that we not only lock the exterior doors, but also [lock] the actual classroom doors.”

Students and faculty were made aware of the policy at the beginning of the school year. Some teachers, like, German teacher, Cheryll Bowman, have come up with adjustments to make the new policy easier for students.

Havener said this policy change was not unprompted. With the fear of school shootings becoming an increasing issue,  KSD wants to do everything they can not only to ensure safety, but to give both faculty and students a peace of mind as well.

However, some students have mixed reactions. Some were frustrated due to getting locked out of class, standing outside for minutes on end waiting for someone to come to the door and unlock it. According to Devin Corley, sophomore, others seem unaffected by the new policy.

“It doesn’t really affect me as a student except when I see people getting locked out of class,” Corley said. “It doesn’t really come into use until a school shooter is present and then we have to use it.”

KHS was not the first school to enact this new policy. Schools such as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a school shooting occurred last February, have similar security-related policies. According to Sun-Sentinel, all of the interior and exterior doors in the building were locked at the time of the shooting. Tragedies like these have caused some schools such as KHS to require trainings for teachers.

I was sitting in training and I had to take a moment to just not cry. ”

“I thought [about] how I [just] want to teach kids yet I had to sit in this training and watch an hour-long video of a gunman shooting a teacher and shooting kids. All I could think is how is this part of my job.”

Other schools are doing more than just locking interior and exterior doors. According to the patch, many have installed advanced security systems in order to keep out people who may want to harm students. Some like Severna Park High School in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, are having students and faculty use their ID to enter the building and even specific doors. They do this by inserting a chip into the ID and connecting those chips to the doors so only students and teachers can get into the building.

Whether it be chip ID’s or locking doors during the school day, the security of America’s schools is becoming a real concern including within KSD. Administrators are acknowledging these concerns with their new policy. While locking doors during the day may seem like a hassle for some students and teachers, as more school shootings happen every year, it is a reality that schools are having to face according to Rowan Burba, sophomore.

“It is really sad that we had to come to this point, but it is necessary,” Burba said. “It is terrifying to constantly be thinking [about] what we would do if there was a school shooter, but [the new policy] does give you a sense of security, no matter how small it may be.”