Past Tragic School Shooting Events Prompt Swift Action from Sandy Police, Canyons School District, and Alta High School
Students admonished to not prop doors open during the day to keep the school safer.
With the devastating loss of teachers and students at the hands of an active gunman in Texas this past June, schools across the country are ramping up security and educating students to make school safety a high priority. Canyons School District and specifically Alta High School, are doing just that.
The Sandy Police, District Safety and Security, and Alta administrators worked together to create a plan to keep students the safest possible, according to Assistant Principal Jared Tucker.
Doors are constantly monitored to make sure they are not propped open. “We want students to not prop open doors,” Tucker said. “Propping doors open with rocks decreases the overall safety and allows others to enter the building when they shouldn’t have access.”
For the most part, student responses to the new security measures have been positive and a bit inconvenient at times. The doors automatically unlock during passing time and then lock once the tardy bell rings. Students who are locked out can only entry through the front doors at that point which could be a minute or two walk for them.
It is inconvenient to have to go to the front doors when the other doors are locked, but I can sacrifice convenience for the safety of the school.””
— Gigi Boggs, student
“I like the idea of having the doors locked because it gives students a peace of mind that safety is important,” said senior Gigi Boggs. “It is inconvenient to have to go to the front doors when the other doors are locked, but I can sacrifice convenience for the safety of the school.”
School resource officer Brayden Colton, from Sandy police wants students to help keep the building safe every day and specifically wants students to come to him if they see something out of the ordinary. “If something seems off, let me, an administrator, or a teacher know immediately,” he said. “That can be a huge factor in keeping the building safe for everyone.”
Administrators, hall monitors, and teachers all agree that the safest place for students to be is in the classroom. Hall monitor Stephanie Christensen says that locking the doors during class time is the number one thing that makes the building safer. “I feel safer,” she said.
“The front office gets to see every face that comes through the front doors,” Christensen said. “It’s just safer for all of us.”
Increased use of hall passes has also helped with overall building safety according to Christensen because it decreases opportunities for students to sneak in the building and hide in some obscure place like a bathroom or empty classroom.
In the event that a hostile intruder, enters the building, Christensen said students should stay in their classroom and out of sight from the windows in the door and lock the classroom doors. If it happens during lunch, students should yell and scream and exit fast.
Hall monitor Amy Christensen notes that safety in the building seems better this year because of the hall passes and decreased number of students wandering the halls. In the end, the students make the building safer by being in the right place and the right time and following school rules and protocols.