Rumor has it…

Sophomores+Viviana+Nute%2C+Erena+Loria+and+Maria+Raptis+walk+out+of+their+classroom+before+lunch.+Displayed+in+the+photo+is+the+newly+placed+fence+for+student+safety.+

Sophomores Viviana Nute, Erena Loria and Maria Raptis walk out of their classroom before lunch. Displayed in the photo is the newly placed fence for student safety.

Hannah Hadelman, Staff Reporter

The homecoming parade is canceled.

Junior and senior privileges are taken away.

Cameras were installed to watch you every second of the day.

It seems like all the students are playing a big game of two truths and a lie with what’s happening around school, but with all the changes that have occurred this year, it is hard for rumors not to start.

To clear things up, yes, the homecoming parade is canceled. Due to safety concerns regarding school campuses, the county and administration are prioritizing student safety. Since the parade takes place on main roads and the crowds include younger children, it is a very vulnerable situation.

“We went to a safety and security meeting given by School Safety and Security Director Captain Richard Francis, and he was going through things that he suggests to do for safety,” Principal Mary Williams said. “Francis said no parades. And all the principals in the meeting were like, ‘What?’”.

Most high schools have the tradition of a homecoming parade, and students look forward to planning the parade, decorating floats, marching in the parade, or even just watching it. Despite all of this, the cancellation is said to be necessary for safety, and leadership is working to create events to replace it.

“Being in leadership, a lot of our time in class during the fall went into the parade and we all really enjoyed putting in so much work for it,” senior Danielle Harms said. “But now, we will make sure to put all the energy that we used to put into the parade into other aspects of fall events such as homecoming and other spirited events to make those even better than before”.

Further changes around campus include the alteration of junior and senior privileges. They are not being taken away, but they are being revised. For seniors, there will be four privilege days, one each quarter. They will be two during fifth period, and two during sixth period.

Senior lunches and midblock privilege days have been removed, again because of safety concerns to avoid issues with coming back onto campus. Juniors will have two privilege days on the same day as two of the senior days: one fifth period and one sixth period.

Further improving safety, 62 cameras are not installed on campus. Williams hopes to prevent fights, thefts and other things students should not be doing as well as better monitor who should be or not be on campus. Although cameras cannot be and are not installed in bathrooms, teacher sign out sheets and cameras pointing at the entrance of the bathroom can display who comes in and out at what time.

“A lot of things can be solved such as who yanked the sink off the wall,” Williams said.

In light of school shootings, the fire drill safety protocol has changed, which has already been practiced this year. Once the alarm goes off, there is a small window of time that students and teachers will wait inside their classroom until it is confirmed over the speaker that it is a drill or a false alarm. This prevents all students from flooding outside and creating a target. Administration can confirm why the alarm is sounding, further improving safety. You never know who really pulled the alarm, it could be a potential threat trying to get all students in one spot.

Additional safety changes around campus include the tinting of the cafeteria windows to prevent being able to see inside easily, addition of gates by the back of the school and by room 6-117b.

The preparation that the school has taken not only includes all of the safety precautions already mentioned, but the addition of another officer and another security guard on campus.

“Adding a new officer and security guard on campus is always a benefit. It makes the job easier when there are more of us around,” School resource officer David Attaway said.

Even though there are reasons to for concern due to school shootings and other events that have happened at schools, administration has made student safety a top concern.

“I do not come to school worried or afraid because I know that we have done everything we could possibly think of,” Williams said.

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