Students Feel Safe at High School


School resource officer Aaron Johansen

Isabella Milone, Contributor

School safety is a large concern in the United States, especially after the recent Florida and Maryland school shootings.

Many people were shocked to find out that the officer involved in the Florida shooting did not enter the building, and instead stayed outside, away from the danger.

“The school shootings in Florida and Maryland are prime examples of why law enforcement is teaching and training initial responding officers to enter the building and engage the threat,” said Glenwood school resource officer Aaron Johansen.

In wake of these school shootings, everyone has been on high alert, though most Glenwood High School students feel safe during the school day, and enjoy being in the building.

“I feel like people keep their eyes’ out for each other. Teachers and security help make the school feel safe,” said freshman Gordon Tuomikoski.

Though most feel protected, some students feel that there are unsafe areas in the school.

“The windows by the classroom doors and big windows in the cafeteria are unsafe because there isn’t any protection. Someone could easily break the glass,” said junior Rosalie Bassich.

To help make the school a safer place, officer Aaron Johansen spends 40 plus hours throughout the week at the four Glenwood schools. The main purpose of having an officer present during the day is to monitor the school and the people inside. Officer Johansen is also immediately notified if an issue arises at any of the four Glenwood schools.

“The Glenwood School District has always been very proactive with school safety, by making all the buildings secure (having to be buzzed in), by having an emergency response plan, and partnering with the Glenwood Police Department to have an officer assigned to the Glenwood School District,” said Johansen. “The only thing I would change to make Glenwood a safer place is to have an officer assigned to each building in the School District.”

To keep students prepared if there ever was a lockdown situation, Principal Richard Hutchinson takes a little time from the school day each semester to practice.

“We try to practice lockdown drills each semester. The problem with practicing lockdown drills is that a lot of times people don’t take them seriously, and so the lockdown drill isn’t as efficient or productive as it needs to be,” said Hutchinson.

Hutchinson isn’t alone in thinking that kids treat the lockdown as a joke.

“I feel like some people don’t take the drills seriously enough, and that’s a problem. I believe that we should practice them more often,” said senior Trevor Stanley.

In addition to practicing lockdowns, Hutchinson has equipped all staff with emergency red binders.

“The binder goes through many scenarios, including evacuations, stay puts and lockdowns, and informs the staff of what we expect of them and what they should do. All staff is trained at the beginning of the year with this binder,” said Hutchinson.