By Thomas Chung
Since it is the duty of a school to be a safe place for students to grow, the newly enforced closed campus policy is a well-placed and commendable action taken by the administration of Gabrielino High School.
One of the primary motivations for implementing the new policy is the prevalence of security threats at schools. Earlier this year, on Feb. 14, a gunman slaughtered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Exactly one month after the horrific incident, on March 14, hundreds of Gabrielino students walked out of their classrooms to participate in a 17 minute event which commemorated the lives of those lost at Stoneman Douglas and demanded action to prevent gun violence from happening in schools.
The closed campus policy is a direct acknowledgment from the administration about this demand for action and students are receptive about the necessity of this policy.
“I’m glad the school is taking security more importantly,” senior Amanda Holguin, a lead organizer of the school walkout, stated.
Last school year, Gabrielino experienced its first shooting scare when a student issued a Twitter statement claiming that they overheard two students wanting to “shoot up the school” during the Renaissance Rally that was scheduled to take place the following Friday. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, as of Nov. 11, 66 shootings have occured on school campuses. Furthermore, USA Today reports that California is prone to some of the deadliest.
By impelling students to solely enter and exit through the front gate by the administrative office and having late students check into the student center before heading to class, security for all at Gabrielino is guaranteed as a result of a well-oiled vetting process.
The closed campus policy also applies for the faculty of Gabrielino, who must wear a identification badge with their name and headshot. Visitors and parents to Gabrielino must also wear a pink badge to show that they have went through the proper security vetting measures to get through. New security cameras have also been installed around campus to insure security.
“I think [the new closed campus policy] is good because it keeps the students in,” parent Staci Chen stated. “And strangers out […] they have to go through front.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 94 percent of public schools reported that they controlled access to school buildings by locking or monitoring doors during school hours, 81 percent of public schools included the use of security cameras to monitor the school, and 68 percent of schools institute a requirement that faculty and staff wear badges or picture IDs.
The dynamic and non-discriminatory application of the closed campus policy emphasizes the administration’s commitment to safety and equal treatment for everyone at Gabrielino along with the administration’s strive to keep up with challenges of the time.
The primary goal of a school is to enrich the lives of students through education. For students’ lives to be enriched, they must be intact and safe from any violent physical and emotional harm. Gabrielino’s new closed campus policy ensures a safe environment for the enrichment and protection of its students.