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OHS Safety – Police in the Parking Lot & Alarmed Doors – How Effective is This?

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OHS Safety – Police in the Parking Lot & Alarmed Doors – How Effective is This?

Fanny Zhang, Managing Editor

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At the start to the 2018-2019 school year, students at Ossining High School quickly took note of some the changes that had occured. While these alterations to the physicality of the school were no doubt installed by the orders of the administration to improve the safety among the student body and the staff at the school, there have been questions concerning its effectiveness at its current state.

One of the main modifications this year would be the built in door alarms. It is understood that the purpose of these alarms is to protect and warn the individuals within the school that there is an intruder. However, logistically, this purpose has not been addressed for a few reasons. The entire objective of installing these alarms has been negated due to the fact that they are triggered numerous times daily, solely due to the fact that the students are simply using these doors as a convenient exit, or are unaware of the schedule in which the alarms are active. In the common instance that these alarms are triggered, it seems as if the school knows or automatically assumes that it’s just a student exiting wrongfully. For reasonable justifications, there can not be eyes and security at every door, so the question becomes, how do we distinguish a student exiting from a threat entering when these alarms are tripped?

Another major change is the revocation of the ability for parents to drop off students at one of the two main entrances. This new rule has been installed as a result of the hazardous street leading to the parking lot of this entrance, as well as the avoidance of congestion that often occurs. The process of initiating this policy has been poor. Despite sending out a letter informing parents strictly through one mailing list about this, many other families remained unaware of this rule. No announcements were made to the students or to the families in other communicative ways. Therefore, the day that this rule was implemented, parents and students were shocked to find a police presence at that region, in which their only job was to direct cars to continue moving down the street, denying the parents the ability to drop off their children in time for the beginning of class. To go even further, some parents were even pulled over or even threatened with a ticket for attempting to get their children to school before the first period started. This behavior stimulated a series of infuriated responses and it was quickly thought that while the rule partially confronts some issues, the execution of this policy could have been much more efficient and less aggressive. To have multiple police cars and police officers at a school facility parking lot, pulling over parents, threatening to give out tickets, and even negatively conversing with the students, to enforcing a rule that most families were poorly informed of, indeed created a hostile environment. Furthermore, this inadequate execution of a subpar policy only contributed to the unspoken, but undeniable tension between the administration and the students.

While the our school leaders have the best interest at heart to protect the students, the changes and the installation of policies concerning safety goals have issues that need to be addressed.

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OHS Safety – Police in the Parking Lot & Alarmed Doors – How Effective is This?