New safety measures implemented around campus


Kit Longshore

Alexis Perno, Staff Writer

In wake of the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, new safety protocols have been planned by Plant administration, including the future construction of a fence. The fence is set to begin construction over the summer and be ready in time for next school year.

Principal Johnny Bush also is in favor of a fence- in fact, Bush states that he was pushing for tighter campus security since before the Parkland shooting and isn’t worried about the creation of a controlled-entry campus.

“It will make people have to do something outside their comfort zone,” Bush said. “But I think when people get used to [the fence] it’ll be fine. I will say I’m very very pleased with our district and the attention they’re giving this.”

Gates will allow walkers in the morning to enter, and late students will go through the office door closest to Dad’s Stadium. With the front gated off, main hall doors to the outside can remain unlocked during the school day.

“I believe that it’s necessary to ensure our campus is secure,” sophomore Eve Larkin said. “However, our school has too many students to have a single entrance and exit. Fencing off the front of the school, I believe, will simply create a more unwelcoming environment, and possibly prompt more people to climb the fence, resulting not only in injury but defying the purpose the fence is meant to uphold in the first place.”

Creating a single-entry access point is top priority for administration currently, who aim to create an entrance by room 101 and the main office. Electric gates are also going to be implemented, along with a buzzing system and cameras so the main office knows exactly who is entering the campus.

“You look at schools like Blake High School, Middleton- at lot of different schools… their structures are sounder than our school,” resource officer Mark Holloway said. “Our school was built in 1927, when nobody was thinking about school shooters. It was not a problem back then- today, it’s a problem.”

Holloway also explains how schools built more recently have more compact campuses.

“The schools that are being made today… there’s one way in and one way out almost,” Holloway said. “It’s for the safety of the students that are in the schools. Our school is wide open… anybody can roll up on our campus. We have to tighten the barriers.”

A mandatory video from the county detailing measures such as multiple threat level phases and cameras was also shown to students.

“It was a good safety briefing,” junior Will Rickles said. “It let people who weren’t aware how we would go into lockdown. It seems that there’s phases but… for each student to know about this, it’s necessary but it just seems like these are drastic measures.”

Classroom doors, including doors that lead to the outside, have stayed locked continuously as per request of administration.

“I hope students understand the… seriousness in the situation,” English teacher Kristina Renaud said. “and they are patient and… that we all continue to be aware and vigilant with the measures.”

Administration also plans on redoing the Dale Mabry fence to bring the structure up to code.