High school implements new safety procedures | SteamboatToday.com

High school implements new safety procedures

Paula Ninger

School resource officer Debbi Funston chats with Taylor Anderson and Alexis Lezin during lunch hour at Steamboat Springs High School earlier this week.

Unfortunately, as danger in Steamboat becomes more prevalent, so does security. And one of the most highly impacted places in town has been at our own school.

You might not have noticed, but new school security measures seem to be popping up as fast as invasive weeds. Yes, many new features serve to maintain safety in the building, which isn’t surprising, considering the recent bomb threats. We have gotten a “secret window,” the new teacher identification badges and Infinite Campus. Yet, are these new items really leading us to true safety?

“We can’t be so overbearing that no one comes to school,” campus supervisor Dennis Hensen said.

“We’re in a comfortable position, but we can’t prevent a tragedy,” he said. “We could have high security and still have a problem. It’s based on society and whether or not they are comfortable with it.”

If you’ve ever walked through the commons recently, you probably haven’t noticed the secret window. In fact, you may have even gone up to it, picked your nose, and not have known that someone was sitting directly on the other side, watching you. This is because the window looks like a mirror. From the outside, that is.

On the inside, you can see through the dim window out into the commons.

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“It almost reflects badly on the school because it shows that they’re trying to tighten security,” said Rianne Marr, a junior at Steamboat Springs High School.

“It shows distrust between students and school officials.”

Another new security measure is the teachers’ ID badges. When walking through the halls on the first day, students might have noticed every adult in the building had a little rectangle around his or her neck with an identification badge of being a teacher.

“Staff has been pushed to be more vigilant about security,” Hensen said. “We will make future security changes along the lines of communication, physical access. It will happen.”

The final new security step is the Infinite Campus parent portal. Parents are able to log on to an account that shows their student’s attendance, tardies and grades – parents can access it, but students can’t.

“I tried to get on Infinite Campus, and I couldn’t,” said Parker Stegmaier, a junior at SSHS.