Securing the School

Explaining the security measures to ensure safety of students, staff

Leily Zhu, Editor-In-Chief

The Parkland shooting has changed the nation. While some of the most obvious responses are seen through the marches and speeches of students all around the country, quieter responses can be observed in schools across the nation.
“Safety is our top priority, so we will always reflect on what our procedures are and if there is anything we can do to enhance our security. There have not been any significant changes since the violence in Florida, however, there have been reminders to students, faculty, and staff about the need to remain alert for anything suspicious,” Assistant Principal Aaron Bearinger said.
This violent incident also raises the question of the security of our schools. What does MN do to protect its members?
“Since the completion of the main entrance renovation, our security has been enhanced. Visitors to MNHS must be buzzed into the building. After they are buzzed into the building they have to then be buzzed into the office or escorted to a classroom or office. We have invested in several new cameras in the last two years and we have a monitoring system that alerts us every time a door in the building is opened,” Bearinger said.
The nationwide violence acts as a reminder, pushing school officials to focus on the safety of the members of their school.
“We’re vigilant, and when things happen, of course, you guard against becoming complacent so those types of unfortunate situations that occur just kind of serve to remind everyone, ‘Don’t let your guard down,’” Martinez said.
Most students have seen Martinez in the hallways in his police uniform. His priority is the safety of the students and staff.
“For preventive measures, I work with Mr. Begley and Mr. Bearinger and the rest of the administrators on different things that can be done to make sure that the staff is safe and the students are safe,” Martinez said.
On top of the built in security measures in the building, MN also has many personnel whose main focus is student and staff safety.
“We have a full-time outside security guard that patrols our parking lot. We also have several security guards that roam the interior of the building during the school day. We are also fortunate to have Omaha Police Officer, John Martinez here every day in the event that a situation would warrant involvement with OPD,” Bearinger said.
Though this may not fall into standard protocol of MN, Martinez believes one of the best preventive measures of school violence is communication.
“Generally speaking, a lot of times, if there are acts of violence that happen in school, communication is one element that could have been done better. And that involves literally everyone,” Martinez said. “Students are no different from adults. If you let a problem fester, it only gets worse. I’ve always been of the thinking that communication is the key to avoiding conflict. You have to communicate.”
While preventive measures may not always succeed, Martinez and MN administrators work to create the best standard procedures for the security of students and staff.