Students feel safe due to officer, drills

Students+feel+safe+due+to+officer%2C+drills

Graphic by Journei Washington

There have been at least 153 school shootings in America alone since the year 2013, according to everytownresearch.org. Some famous school massacres include Columbine, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and most recently Winston Salem-State University. These incidents can make students feel on edge while attending school, so the administration continually tries to improve student safety.

Prior to this year, the safety drills have been scheduled, and teachers were aware of when the drills were going to occur.  However, since last year, this school has changed the way their drills are focused, because they “wanted to accomplish seeing how readily teachers and students will react when certain situations arise,” Assistant Principal Matt Ambrose said.

Teachers and students no longer know what time in the day the drill will be, and sometimes the drills occur during passing periods or lunch shifts. This new drill format has caused positive reactions among the teachers and students.

“I think it’s great because emergency happens whenever, and students can become prepared for when an emergency happens,” sports medicine teacher Christina Florence said.

“Staff are nothing but great when handling emergency situations,”   English teacher Mitzina Fracasso said.

According to a recent Fielder survey of 200 students, 80% of students believe these new drills are helpful, and 20% do not. Some students still feel uneasy about safety.

“There are more and more school shootings going on, so it could easily happen to this school one day,” freshman Chris Bazziri said.

Despite that possibility, 80% of students do feel safe in this school, according to the survey.

“There is minimal fighting,” sophomore Jeremiah Soto said.

Part of this feeling is also due to Officer Jason Kopek.

“I feel safe here with the policeman here,” junior Jade Conklin said. Officer Kopek strives to makes himself “very approachable.”

“I want to be more visible for students if they ever have any situations that they need to come to me with,” said Kopek.

Although school shootings sometimes can leave students questioning their school environment, this school is trying their best to make sure that the students and staff are prepared for when emergency happens, so everyone can feel safe in this school.