School rolls out new safety measures


Paw Prints

Students Lauren Schwartz, Sophia Vasquez, Marisa Moo Young and Nathan Nguyen display their daily worn IDs.

A year consists of 365 days, 52 weeks and 12 months. The majority of this time is spent completing English papers, going to football games and other mundane activities. However, certain dates will be forever etched in the minds of South Floridians. February 14, 2018 was a watershed moment in our country, changing the way students and parents view schools and safety. It was this particular day a former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student decided to eliminate the safety and comfort of schools.

Ever since the tragic events that occurred in Parkland, the Broward County School Board has been reforming our schools to ensure safety for all students and faculty. The school board has plans to spend 26 million dollars to ensure that all schools have a single point of entry, extra fencing and security cameras. At this moment, only 135 out of 230 schools have a single point of entry.

According to principal Jimmy Arrojo, a new extra large fence will be installed “from the ground up” in front of the school on 136 Ave. An additional two  fences will block the sides of the school. The estimated time these changes will be complete is 2019.

The school has initiated various safety reforms, including mandatory identification cards. Every student is required to wear an ID at all times on campus. At school, students will not be able to leave their classrooms without their ID.

Principal Arrojo said the IDs are not about the students who wear them but about the students who don’t. Security and administration are keeping a closer eye on the daily habits of students. 

Beau Simon, junior at Cypress Bay High School and student advisor to the Broward County School Board said, “[Mandatory identification is] a great idea that should have been implemented sooner.”

On the other hand, some students do not feel the school is doing enough.

“[The IDs are] a waste of money,  money that we should use to hire more security or provide help to those with mental illness. The IDs don’t make us bulletproof,” junior Dakota Huddle said.

While opinions on IDs vary, most students do wear them.

Assistant principal Christine Graf said 95-98 percent of the student body is complying with the ID policy.

Students must wear their ID’s every day, and if not, it is at the school’s discretion to assign punishments.There will be regular ID checks where teachers will have to send students to student affairs if they are without IDs. The office staff will provide students with new IDs at a cost of five dollars or an obligation.

At the August school board meeting, members discussed the idea of metal detectors on school campuses. During the meeting, a safety consultant gave the school board a full presentation on the issue, but superintendent Robert Runcie has halted any implementation plans as of now.

The Sun-Sentinel also reported that the School Board could be held liable for discrimination charges. If a student feels wrongly searched, it may cause issues.

“I don’t have anything to hide, so I wouldn’t really care [if the school installed metal detectors],” senior Vaughn Schuman said.

Despite this, some students do fear being targeted.

“I would be strongly offended if they singled me out,” senior Robin Moscovitch said.

This is one of multiple ideas brought up by the school board and citizens. Their ideas show a promising future in making further reforms to safety in our schools.

At this moment, the school and the school board are still working on important safety reforms, but at least steps are being taken in the right direction. As the year progresses, school administration will continue the enforcement of student IDs as construction of the fence takes place.

For now, ideas of change can be initiated at Broward School Board meetings, which take place every first Tuesday of the month. Students remain hopeful that the change they strongly advocate for will be evident soon.