News/Opinion Package: Many say lack of security at RHS is alarming

News%2FOpinion+Package%3A+Many+say+lack+of+security+at+RHS+is+alarming

Feature Photo By: Ruth Mesfin – An ID lays on the ground moments before a lock down begins. Within this month alone, Rangeview has had more than two lock downs that have not been drills, and one serious threat. 

By: Ruth Mesfin and Thomas Russell, Review Staff

Editor’s note: Below are two pieces from reporters on The Review staff discussing school safety. Reporter Ruth Mesfin wrote a news piece, while reporter Thomas Russell wrote an opinion piece.

News:

By Ruth Mesfin

Over the course of the 2018-2019 school year, there have been more than “twenty-three (school) shootings where someone has gotten injured or killed.

To prevent a harmful events from happening, Rangeview staff have implemented a policy where students are required to wear their ID’s, among other things.

According to the RHS Student Handbook, “Every student is required to wear their ID at all times while on school property during the academic day.”

Sophomore Brianna Cervantes walks down the halls during sixth period after a lock down was lifted (Ruth Mesfin).

Yet there are also obvious gaps in the school’s safety, according to many students and staff, like those side doors that should have a sound alarm to alert any staff member nearby that they are being opened but don’t even sound.

For years now, students have been walking out of those doors to avoid security guards waiting to check for IDs. The sign warns that an alarm will sound; RHS students know none ever does.

Sophomore Mariel Navarro Corona says, “ I don’t feel safe at school because anyone can come in and out of those doors that claim they will sound,” adding, “IDs aren’t helping at all, anyone can come [sic.] with fake an ID.”

How will school safety affect students academically?

According to the Texas School Safety Center, “… student perceptions of safety play an important role in their ability to succeed at school. Students who feel unsafe at school are less engaged in classroom activities and have higher rates of absenteeism (regularly staying away from school).”

Many students feel as though this is a pressing issue at Rangeview.

Debani Estrada, a sophomore, says, “From time to time it goes get hard to focus knowing anyone can walk through the main doors and change our lives It’s like every day you hear about school shootings on the news; it’s almost like one day everyone will get used to it.”

Studies show, “…childhood trauma has more lifelong and pervasive effects on young developing psyches, both in terms of their psychological worldview and their physiological systems that handle stress and anxiety.”

Sophomore Jessica Vo says, “Hearing about all these shooting are honestly very terrifying, and I think that it could happen to our school makes me feel scared sometimes. Rangeview should lock unnecessary doors from the outside and increase their security.”

According to the Daily Signal, a school safety system that is highly strategic would cost up to $400,000 per school.

Signs were put on doors that are supposed to have alarms to alert students not to use these as exits, yet the signs have been continuously ignored (Ruth Mesfin).

Reported by Fox 59 News, the security system works because, “Every teacher is required to wear a key fob which they would press if there was a life-threatening emergency.”

This notifies the security system, and it, “…immediately notifies law enforcement. Inside the classrooms, teachers have a tool that helps them report whether their class is safe, under attack, or dealing with an injury.”

Ms. Kay, world language teacher, says, “I would love to have something like that because we don’t have anything in place as a state necessarily. Specifically from forbidding people with mental illness from accessing guns. Most districts don’t have a lot of extra money to spend, I wonder if that’s something that we as a community and state knew about that if we could find other ways to raise money.”

Rangeview is a school with about 2,400 students — this can be a lot to keep track of. Do the unalarmed doors and the students that prop them open make it more dangerous, or are the possible threats coming from different issues?

Following the Nov. 2 duck and cover lock down, RHS is forming a team to take a close look at security, but what will the role of the students be? 

If you ever feel threatened and have any information that could be helpful, don’t be afraid to go to Safe 2 Tell.

Opinion:

By Thomas Russell

Imagine that you walk into Rangeview, and the staff commands you to get your ID’s out and put them on. You see kids walk in front of the staff with no ID showing. Sometimes they are punished, while other times they walk by without being noticed.  

Later that day, you are leaving school, and you see a lot of students walking toward the doors that have alarms on them. Signs on the doors instruct students not to exit through there, yet they walk through the doors anyway — and no alarm sounds.

Rangeview is a school that is safe for the most part. Normal teenage stuff happens here: drama, arguments, and heartbreaks.

Some students have expressed their concerns about the ID issue. Junior Raymond Cortez said, “IDs should matter but aren’t taken serious because people don’t wear them at all times.”    

Anyone can walk into the school with no ID — and even manage to get through doors that claim to have alarms yet never go off. Many students have the  impression that if someone wanted to get into the school and hurt us, they could.

Campus Monitor Steve Egloff sits at the security desk to keep an eye on students and parents walking into the school (Thomas Russell).

Junior Alex Amaya said, “If someone comes in and the alarm doesn’t go, off people could get seriously hurt.”

This conflict is a cause for concern, especially when it comes to someone wanting to harm the staff and/or students. Within the school, there have been incidents of students having a friend open a different door for them when they have no ID.

In some cases, doors aren’t being opened by friends, but they are propped open with different items.

According to CNN, the United States has 57 times the school shootings compared to major industrialized countries, and has had 288 since the year 2009. As a school and a community, we need to keep our school and students safe above all else.

Junior Anthony Thomas suggests, “They should just put alarms on the doors because if they don’t, it’s a safety hazard.”

Pictured above are the doors leading out from the library. The alarms will not sound if students exit this way until the door’s batteries are replaced (Thomas Russell).

To avoid such threats to safety, staff should stand near or around doors to deter students from holding the doors for other students who don’t have IDs. If possible, we should also have staff that walk about the building to check if doors are being held open by an object. 

Students also play a major role in reporting suspicious activity in person or on social media, and they should not let others in the side doors. 

According to RHS Principal Mr. Fay, the batteries in the doors that are supposed to trigger alarms are old.

Though the district has been informed of this; the alarms are still not working as of today, Nov. 26.

As Rangeview students, we need to come together and stay safe. We need to stop opening doors for our friends with no IDs, and we also need to wear IDs all day to have maximum safety for us and the staff. Also, we should be alarmed about our lack of alarms.