By Kate Salvo and Marissia Potamianos
“I think it’s stupid,” said sophomore Meredith Wagner about Jamesville-Dewitt High School’s new system of entry. Starting March 3, the J-D district installed a new entrance procedure for visitors to the district’s schools during the school day. Once you walk in the door at J-DHS, there is a buzzer on your right that you press, which alerts the attendance secretary Pam Breck, who then unlocks the door and allows the person to come inside.
So why did the school implement this in the middle of the year? Well, staff has been thinking about adding this new system for awhile. It “was always planned” says school monitor James Tuck. Junior Ben Vahey verified this because he had learned of it in his frequent discussions with Mrs. Breck and Mr. Tuck. He says it’s not a surprise to him and he “knew it was coming.” This will also benefit the staff because everything is recorded and there is “something to fall back on,” according to Mr. Tuck.
The purpose of this new procedure is to keep unauthorized persons from coming into the building, and to protect the students and staff from potential threats. Principal Paul Gasparini says that having a single entrance point will “allow us to monitor entry.” This seems to be what is most important to staff not only at J-D, but around the country, as most schools have implemented this system of having one spot people may enter the school.
Mrs. Breck said that teachers and staff are the only people that are allowed to let others in. By having the system, they hope students will become more aware of the potential danger of letting in strangers. “All the other doors are locked for a reason, and no one should be granted access through them,” said Mrs. Breck.
Students at J-DHS don’t understand why this was put into place because Mr. Tuck is always there patrolling the halls and the main entrance. Freshman Lucas Binder says that “Tuck has been there and has experience and he shouldn’t be replaced.” Wagner agrees, saying that “Tuck provides us with enough supervision,” so the new system isn’t needed. Along with the unneeded buzz-in system, it creates more responsibility for staff. “By having this new procedure, more work is needed from Mrs. Breck,” says Vahey. Freshman Rania Kassis doesn’t think this will work because people will still open doors for others, “so the system is pointless.”
Principal Paul Gasparini says that this new system is working as planned and the transition is going well.