No more wondering during lunch

No more wondering during lunch

This is a pass that a student needs to leave the commons.

The Sandy Hook Elementary shooting left America heartbroken, shocked, and questioning their own personal safety. Many schools were immediately faced with the challenge of establishing new safety measures. OHS has introduced new measures to keep the staff and students safe, as well as leaving the parents at ease. It has been frustrating for many students to adjust to the new procedures.

One of the most inconvenient new safety measures is the “lock down” at lunch. There are teachers stationed at all entrances to the commons. No students are allowed to leave the cafeteria or commons area unless they are band students with a special pass to go to class early. This means there is only one water fountain for all of the students in one lunch period, as well as one bathroom for each gender. It has also left the tables more crowded because students are not allowed to eat lunch in the hallway anymore.

Throughout the school there have been complaints from students about how the cafeteria is too crowded, or how they cannot fill up their water bottle because they are only allowed to use one drinking fountain. If they placed a teacher in the hallway outside the commons so a student can go get some water they are being monitored and it can be considered an extension of the commons lunch space. Many students wanted to be treated like adults and feel respected.  Although these measures are in place for the safety of the school, many students feel like they are not being treated fairly. If students are treated with the respect they want then they will reciprocate the respect back and be more understanding of the new procedures.

As some students were trying to leave the commons to get a drink a teacher said “Oh no you don’t.” This was when the rules were first being established and the students did not know any better. The teacher could be more understanding of the miscommunication and the students getting used to these new rules. By being spoken to in this way the students were now frustrated at the whole system and not just how the teacher reacted. I understand they want to establish the rules are not meant to be broken or bent but this is a new adjustment for everyone.

There are also only three main entrances that students can enter in the mornings. This is an inconvenience for those who have parking spots farther away from these entrances. Those who enter through Gym A there are signs asking not to walk on the floor with wet shoes, but there is not much students can do to get around that. The office has also established a buzzer system. Anyone who wants the enter the school is seen on a camera and is asked why there are here. At Oakville Middle School if you want to enter you have to be prepared with why you are here, who you are picking up, and what for. They keep the doors locked even after school is out to ensure extra safety.

I am appreciative of the concern the school has for all of the students. School should be a place where a student can come to be safe and not be afraid. These extra safety measures will take some getting used to, but I would feel less safe if the school had not attempted to something different after the events in Connecticut. Although it seems like a hassle not being able to use the bathroom of our choice or enter through the doors we want, if something were to happen I would be more reassured knowing that the school was prepared.