Principal Brown holds a coffee talk regarding school’s security

Cole Zich, Contributor

Principal Sah Brown hosted a coffee talk for parents on November 19 in the College and Career Center.  This was intended to be a general meeting, but due to recent events was primarily about the shooting the day prior. 

Coffee talks are monthly meetings held by the school administration where parents can provide input on school affairs. This meeting was the first one held by the new principal.

Attendees discussed student safety. They also touched on what the school was doing to increase student safety in light of the lockdown. 

Brown mentioned that approximately six to eight doors don’t correctly lock. He added that the school sends security guards to lock such doors, but that is a safety concern for the school. He said that he was working with Strategy and Logistics Coordinator Brandon Hall to fix the doors.

Dysfunctional PA systems are also an issue throughout the building. Non-functioning PA systems kept some classrooms from being up to date during the lockdown.

“After the drill, we found out that we had more [non functioning speakers] than we’ve asked folks to tell us if it’s not functioning,” Brown said. His current counter to it is having a loud PA system that can be heard in rooms from the hallway.

There were also some issues with the security cameras at the start of the year, but most of them have been fixed. Hall noted that about five of the 152 cameras around the building were still being repaired as of the meeting. 

Brown also mentioned that there were originally no plans to make security for the portables outside. “The portables were going to be easily accessible from the sidewalk, from the street, with nothing around the perimeter, no fencing, so anybody would have been able to just walk in and out and go into the portables,” he said. The lockdown made him realize how that could cause safety issues for the classes in the portables, and they’re “trying to come up with an approach and a plan where those can be fenced in and you have to enter through the main building.”

During the meeting, the administration announced new plans for security by the entrances. The building is going to have security guards around the main entrance at all times. At around 9:15 a.m., the school doors are supposed to be locked, and a security guard will have to unlock the door to let you into the building. The security guards will unlock the door at times many people are likely to enter, such as at the end of lunch or when there’s a metro delay.

The next lockdown drill is supposed to be in March of 2023. The next coffee talk is planned to be on December 17.