Enhancing school safety- New Safety Doors Installed

By now we have all noticed the new cosmetic changes to our school, leaving many students with more questions than answers. 

Why do we have them?

  These doors are a part of a campaign to increase safety in schools. After parents expressed concern to the school board, our district put plans into effect to make schools safer. They wanted to combat the fear that comes from online hoaxes and unaccounted for visitors. 

Mrs. Mitchell, Fremont’s Principal, says “I think that we do everything that we can as adults and employees in the building to keep kids safe, but there’s a lot of outside forces that are way outside our sphere of control because of social media.” She goes on to say that parents experience fear and concern when they send their kids to school. “It’s really hard on parents, they don’t know what’s real, what’s not real.”

In the past, Fremont had a visitor and attendance issue. As a visitor, the first thing they should do is check into the main office, but how many really do this?  There’s not anything wrong with teachers making arrangements with guest speakers and giving instructions on how to get to their classrooms. It’s just a communication issue. It’s super important to know who’s in the building; think about fire drills, we have a responsibility to ensure safety for the community, including welcome visitors. We’re all human, but it’s important not to skip that vital step.

How do they work?

They are supposed to open at a certain time of day. The doors are run by a computer that’s programmed by our bells. For example, during passing time they would open allowing students to travel freely. During classes these doors will close only allowing students to pass by being buzzed in. If students are out during a time where the doors are locked, students should go to the counseling office or the main office windows by the wolves. Just let them know what direction you’re heading and why. If you’re late you will also be given an attendance slip.   Parents will still be able to enter the building as those aren’t the doors that will be locked. 

Are these doors for the whole district?

Yes, according to Mrs. Mitchell every school in the district will be receiving the doors. It’s only a matter of when. Fremont is the first high school they were installed in, however Wahlquist and T.H Bell already had them.

Will the wolves be moved?

A fact that many students might not know is that the wolves have been arranged a few different ways throughout the years. When they were introduced back in 2000, they were on a simple podium not much bigger than a table. A few years later the podium was upgraded to a much bigger one, and then later expanded into a forest scene. Now we are used to the rocks and rough terrain. Mrs Mitchell said there are no immediate plans to move them, but it can’t be ruled out in the future.

 One Fremont student, a junior reflected, was asked if the wolves should be moved. “There’s so many people that stand in the commons that you can’t walk through there. That’s the main place where people need to walk. If the wolves weren’t there, there would be more room for sure.”

We are all adjusting to changes to the school, and there may be even more to come next year as Fremont loses some of its student body to West Field. This alone should alleviate much of the traffic. The new security doors will take some getting used to, but they are a major upgrade to our school’s safety.  

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