MHS need to improve safety measures-Editorial

The recent disaster in Connecticut has made communities across the nation wonder about how safe their schools may be.  Over the last few years Marshfield High School has become less strict about the precautions they take to ensure student safety. Marshfield needs to make changes if they value student safety as much as Superintendent Dawn Granger claims it does in the news story in this issue. MHS may need to revert back to the old measures they went through to protect the students.
Only a few years ago all of the doors except the main doorway to both Pirate Hall and the Main Building were locked for safety and people had to be let in to enter through the other doors. This precaution has lapsed for the convenience of the students, and once again most entrances remain unlocked. All doors other than the one main set of doors at the front of each building should remain locked if the district wants to keep track of all people who enter the school.  Easy access may be nice for the people who need to be on campus, but the point of these locked doors and other safety procedures are to keep us safe, and safety should always come before convenience.

The multiple entrances to each building allow people can come and go at MHS undetected. People enter and exit without getting one of the visitor passes required to be on campus. If the side doors are one again locked, a single person could be put in the front office to monitor who comes onto and leaves the campus. This person could ensure that all visitors sign in and get a pass. This process would create a record of all visitors to the campus, which could be kept in the office.

A large factor of the slump in school safety precautions may be the campus’s lack of an armed police officer. When Coos Bay Police officers came to the assembly on Dec. 20, it was shown that when there is threat to the school, the local law enforcement will come to help.  Unfortunately, school officials will not know when a shooter is actually going to strike. If a threat to student safety arises, MHS needs to have an officer on campus to handle the situation swiftly. For the school to be a better protected environment, an armed officer needs to be stationed permanently on campus.  Prior to this school year, MHS had a School Resource Officer on campus through a cooperative agreement between the Coos Bay School District and the Coos Bay Police Department. This arrangement would be a welcome return.  

The people of Newtown, Connecticut probably never thought their elementary school would be the target for a deranged murderer, but it still happened. People in this community likely assume it is not going to happen here either. The odds are very slim, but that does not mean the district administration should not take the time to do whatever it can to make the school a safer environment for the students.