Like any other school, Coppell High School strives to keep the safety of its students and staff its number one priority.
Both before and since the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. CHS teachers and administrators have been taking measures to make this school as safe as possible.
“The first priority for us here is immediately making sure that we’re doing proactive things to make sure that everyone is aware there may be concerns coming in,” CHS Principal Dr. Nicole Jund said. “For me, there isn’t much time to worry about how I feel [about the shooting].”
Because the Florida shooter pulled the fire alarm to populate the school’s hallways, CHS has decided to hold before evacuating in a fire drill. Although this measure may continue, it is temporary as of now.
“The more [these] tragedies] happen, the more we are learning about how to handle situations like these,” CHS senior Cleon Jackson said. “It’s just something we’ve got to think about, process and find a solution for.”
Timers have been installed on all entry doors, except for the far right door by the student parking lot, so that they will automatically lock after first period begins. Students and staff who enter the building after that time must enter through the horseshoe doors.
Classroom doors now have new magnets so that in the case of a lockdown or emergency, the magnet can quickly be removed to lock the doors, saving time that would have otherwise been spent locking the door manually.
All classrooms have added roll down black felt covers to the windows on their doors as well.
A vestibule is being constructed in the front entrance so that visitors will not be able to enter through the regular horseshoe doors, upon completion. Instead, there will be a separate office where visitors will have to be buzzed into the school. Construction began during spring break.
“I’ll feel a lot safer knowing I’m behind glass and not so exposed to everything,” CHS receptionist Michele Garcia said. “I know where to hide and where to go, as opposed to right now I’m not [sure] where I’m supposed to go. It’ll be very nice to have that security of being behind a closed door and window.”
Aside from ID cards students are required to wear on school premises, people are encouraged to report any dubious behavior. Also, signs have been posted on all external entry doors to remind students and staff not to let others in, directing them to the front doors.
“If something concerns you, you have to let people know. There has to be a partnership between the adults and students involved to make sure that everybody is safe,” Jund said. “Ultimately, we just have to care enough about each other to pay attention to those around us to make sure we are helping anytime there is somebody in need.”
The main goal of these procedures is to make students feel safer amidst the events happening around the country.
“The last thing we’d ever want someone to do is feel like they were alone here,” Jund said. “There are 3,500 of us plus 300 staff. We will find you somebody who can care for you. There’s no reason that someone should walk these halls and feel alone.”
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