How Increasing Security Is Affecting Brentwood

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How Increasing Security Is Affecting Brentwood

A security camera at the current main entrance of the High School.

A security camera at the current main entrance of the High School.

Jonas Wall

A security camera at the current main entrance of the High School.

Jonas Wall

Jonas Wall

A security camera at the current main entrance of the High School.

Jonas Wall, Assistant Editor

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Security cameras in every hallway, reinforced doors, and sudden changes in school policy have become the norm in high schools across the country. One in three parents fears sending their kids to high schools due to the recent uptick in school shootings. But school districts are doing whatever they can to assuage the fears of concerned parents.

Here at Brentwood, the district has cracked down on security over the past year and will continue to do so along with the renovation of the high school campus.

Security policy changed during the 2018-2019 school year to remove the open campus during lunch. Students are no longer allowed to eat anywhere on campus, and upperclassmen are no longer allowed to leave the campus during the lunch period. All students now eat lunch in the renovated cafeteria, with the exception of some clubs that meet in supervised classrooms. 

The administration saw the open campus as a significant threat to security. Superintendent Brian Lane does not anticipate that we will return to the open campus lunch policy saying, “This allowed for too much access to our buildings that could not be effectively monitored and was a significant safety concern.” 

Along with the recent changes to school policy, many of the additions to the actual buildings are being made in the name of safety. Both new entrances will contain vestibule areas in which visitors will have their ID’s run through a criminal database. Each visitor will also be given a print out ID. All entrances will contain reinforced doors as well to better secure the building.

Temporary new security cameras have been installed in recent years. They will be replaced by a new system, although a specific company has not been chosen yet to provide the new cameras. 

Sophomore Jamal Isaac remains wary of the changes to the buildings but suggests that limiting the entrances to the school buildings would make him feel safer. But when asked about the implementation of cameras said, “The cameras make me feel a little safer but it doesn’t make me think that school is a safe place.”

These increases in security at Brentwood parallel the nationwide trend beginning with the Columbine school shooting in 1999. Restricting access to schools, along with an increased security presence within the buildings, are common changes for school districts to make.

Students at Brentwood have been fairly receptive to the recent additions to the school buildings themselves; Junior Ben Greiner said: “I think that new construction will probably improve security.” Another Junior; Ben Brown said: ” It has made me feel a bit more safe about my well being and has helped me feel more at ease in the school.”

But many remain skeptical when it comes to other additions to security, such as the implementation of a School Resource Officer (SRO). Senior Shekinah Reed said: “It doesn’t make me feel safer because of all the things that happen with police officers in schools.” 

As Brentwood follows the trend of increasing security, the effectiveness of these additions remains to be seen. We will continually provide updates on construction and new implementations to security.