School Safety Taken Seriously


Jane Hoeflinger

Students buzz in and present an ID in order to gain entry to the building.

In the wake of recent mass shootings and an increased concern with potential school violence, schools across the nation have been reportedly implementing new safety measures. Lynbrook has taken steps to ensure the safety of its staff and students by updating its safety procedure plans and increasing school building security. The new District-Wide School Safety Plan was adopted by the Lynbrook School Board on Sept. 12, 2018.

According to the District-Wide School Safety Plan, any student or staff member entering a school building must present an ID prior to entry. All of the building’s doors, including the doors located at the main entrance, will remain locked throughout the day. At the high school, where there is an open campus, students must first present their official school IDs to a camera, and then a monitor will temporarily unlock the doors. Visitors will be questioned through an intercom system before granted entry, and if admitted into the building, will be required to sign in and be escorted to their destination. Once they have completed their desired business, they will be escorted out of the building. Furthermore, each school is under video surveillance closed-circuit TV security, and each school is entitled to conduct random searches when deemed necessary.

Principal Joseph Rainis described the new procedure as disheartening yet necessary, “As an educator it’s an unfortunate necessity. The very idea that we have to think about a worst-case scenario is disheartening, but the new procedure helps to better ensure everyone’s safety by building layers of security and giving emergency response personnel more time to successfully intervene.”

In response to the requirement of IDs when entering the building, junior Rachel Campanile stated, “It’s definitely a lot different from last year, but it’s not a lot to ask for when it means our safety. It was easy to get used to, and it makes me feel a lot safer. I think it was a good improvement.” Ben Ferrante, front door monitor for the high school, added, “Buzzing students into the cafeteria helps a lot with checking the students’ IDs because now everyone knows to present his or her ID before entering the building, and no one tries to sneak by me… overall, I think it’s a good idea.”

According to the document, other elements of the District-Wide School Safety Plan include “responses to an implied or direct threat of violence,” an increase in school building security, “dissemination of information regarding early detection of potentially violent behavior,” “plans to exercise and conduct drills to test the Building-Level Emergency Response Plan including review of tests,” “annual school safety training for staff and students,” and “strategies for improving communication and reporting of potentially violent incidents.”

Similarly to her peers, sophomore Mason Benvenuto believes, “School safety is important, and [the new procedure] makes me feel safer every day when I come in… I think we all have to remember to ‘protect the house.’”