Do You Feel Safe at School?


Miranda Guss and Shauntavia Conway

With everything happening around the world, with gun violence increasing, safety has become a rising issue among HHS students.  

The Growler conducted an anonymous survey of 80 students. We collected the data from two of the six questions asked (seen in infographic).

“I feel like no one’s really safe at school, because are you really ever safe,” a freshman who chose to stay anonymous said.

What has the administration done to protect its students in recent years? Administration has upped adult supervision to combat the fights in the hallways. Staff have patrolled the restrooms since fights and vaping have happened in them.

Safety drills have also been conducted more often. It’s mandatory for the school to complete drills at least four times a year, according to Dr. Thomas Dittrich, HHS Executive Director of Student Services, said. This way students and staff know what to do in these drills. Many of these drills are not planned and are surprises to each school. 

“Me and Officer Willenbrock would show up to a school and say, ‘We are going to drill,’ and not even the principals would know,” Dr. Dittrich said.

In addition, according to Dittrich, many doors have bullet and shatterproof-resistant film installation on them. Cameras around the school have been upgraded inside and outside. There are new cameras to cover blind spots. Faculty members meet to train on intruder scenarios and discuss ways to make the school safer. Students and parents have been added to these meetings as well. 

Many students and teachers wonder if metal detectors are in the cards for the future or if they will benefit our school. Administration has recently discussed this topic after the gun and knife that was found last year. This was turned down last year but has not been mentioned since.  Some are concerned that the metal detectors will make the school seem like a prison. Others don’t see how metal detectors will make the school seem like a prison since public buildings have a form of metal detectors. Students wonder if it will make them late for class. If so, will the school open at a later time?

“I am in full support of metal detectors… If some kids don’t like them or some teachers don’t like them, then in my opinion it doesn’t really matter. We are talking about preventing a gun or knife from entering the building,” from a teacher who chose to be anonymous.

In the future, the district plans to install new door handles, increase administration supervision, update keycard access, add more parents and students to the safety committee, and install signs outside classrooms to tell what the number of the room is.