Kennedy Torch

Kennedy Torch

What Kennedy is Doing to Keep Students Safe

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Mathew WorthingtonBarnes, Writer

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With all the recent school shootings, school districts have been debating on what they should do to keep the students and staff safe. Different schools have done various things to ensure the safety of both students and staff. In Pennsylvania, one district has decided to arm each class room with a five-gallon pale of rocks. At Kennedy High School, the district has made a protocol that is the most popular to keep people safe.

“We have been training both students and staff in the “Run, Hide, or Fight” protocol,” Principal Jason Kline said.

One part of the lockdown drills Kline would like to change is to start adding in running drills. This will allow students to learn about the different ways to get out of the school. Kennedy will be doing one of these “lock down” drills May 3 at 11 am. That would be Thursday during fourth hour.

“I want to start having students doing running drills to better prepare them for such an event,” Kline said.

Another thing Kline wants to add to the school to make it safer, is stronger doors. He wants to make it seem to someone who might want to attack in the heat of the moment. Kline emphasized that students need to have a plan and stay calm while trying to avoid panic.

Science teacher Lorymar Vargas has some different ideas, but agrees that something needs to be done here at Kennedy.

“As teachers we are told, that during a shooting, we need to first evaluate what we should do with the protocol in mind. We need to consider all possibilities and use the routes that have been stated,” Vargas said. “Throughout this we need to remember that fighting is the last resort.”

Vargas believes that because situations can vary when this happens, so she thinks that giving classrooms either the glass with the wires in it or bullet proof glass will make it more difficult for the shooter to do as much harm.

“I really think that we need to have stronger glass put in so if a shooting does happen, they can’t just shoot through the window and get us,” Vargas said.

Vargas thinks that Kline is promoting a good thing by trying to push for running drills.

“The reason I think this is a good idea is because, say the teacher was incapacitated and the students didn’t know any of the ways to get out of the classroom or area that they are in. If we do start doing these ‘running’ drills it will help students so they don’t have to rely to heavily on the teachers in this situation,” Vargas said.

The good side of it is that the students will know where to go and what to do. The bad side is if the shooter is a student than they will know of said routes and will be able to be there. The one main concern that Vargas had, was that the running drills would be hard to set up and do.

“Do I think that these will help students? Yes, but they will need to remember that the teachers still have the better judgement on whether to run, hide, or fight,” Vargas said.

“Our main goal with all of these drills and safety measures are to ensure that our students one, feel safe coming here and two, they will have a plan to be able to make it out of here if that happens,” Kline said.

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