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December 21, 2012

Centennial Works to Keep Students Secure

by Megan Wolter

Over the years, school security has become more and more of an issue for the administration and staff of schools.  As security technology has increased, schools are expected to keep up with it and make the buildings and campus as safe as possible for students.  It was partially because of teachers that lives were saved when a shooter decided to enter Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Since then, many schools, including Centennial, have been looking at their own security measures and how they can try to prevent another incident like this from happening .  The Centinal decided to sit down with Principal Greg Johnson and asked him what those at Centennial are doing to help with our security.

One of the biggest things that is being done is to work on the Public Announcement system because in some classrooms it can’t be heard at all and in others, it is almost totally white noise.  “The [PA] system is just really old and I took progressive steps to fix it last school year.  And they looked at and replaced a lot of speakers last summer and it is making a lot of headway, although it is a really old system that may need to be replaced,” Johnson informed us.  There have been other security measures that were added this summer to help improve the safety here.  “We have more hall monitors around and the [school] board was really proactive about it and allowed us to hire many of them.  The number of monitors we have is equal to the number of exits we have.  Therefore, there are many of them on the first floor at all of the exits, along with two on the second floor at those two exits.  We have all of our exits covered, which is great, because this building is not designed well for our modern needs.”

Another concern has not just been monitoring the doors, but being more able to control who is coming in and out of them.  “There has been some talk of getting a security monitoring system at all of the doors, but this would be a huge undertaking.  Everyone would have to be buzzed in, but we don’t know when this would possibly be put in.”  In addition to this, the school board has been talking at length of designing a new high school that possibly would combine both Central and Centennial or completely create a new building for Central.   This may influence the decision on if anything is done to security or not because it is uncertain what would happen to Centennial in the next couple of years.  As for parents directly contacting Johnson, he hasn’t had too many people doing so, because there have been more concerns at the elementary school level.

What is your opinion on school security?  Do you think Centennial is safe, moderately safe, or not safe?  Please comment with your thoughts below!

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