The Rise of Safety Standards

As school safety concerns are on rise MN continues to advance policies and ensure student safety


Mahika Kanchanam, In-Depth Editor

Four people were shot on the tennis courts of McLain High School in Oklahoma. One shot on the campus of the University of Arizona. Three people were shot during a football game at Whitmer High School in Ohio. One shot at Morgan State University in Maryland. These school shootings are some that occurred just this October.

The number of school shootings continues to be on the rise every month. Where the school is supposed to be a safe space, school shootings have become a regular topic on our news channels. As debates continue to run in regard to decreasing this number, MN continues to put forward its best efforts to keep its students safe. 

With the steep contrast in school safety over the past few years, the ways schools have been implementing safety protocols have changed with it. 

“Now, many schools when I was growing up, you didn’t have locked doors. Now, these days, in a lot of schools all the doors are locked; with good reason of course,” School Resource Officer Carlisle said. 

When most of the current teachers at MN had been growing up, there were no officers or security guards at school, and the doorways weren’t so highly guarded. But the way we decided to handle our conflicts have their consequences. 

“Bullying, breakup, issues with grades or being suspended, or someone stepping on your shoe, social media, someone going back and forth on social media and it turns into a fight inside of a school; that puts everybody at risk when you because what it blows down to is the inability to resolve issues in an appropriate,” Carlisle said.

With the change in safety situations throughout our communities, teachers and staff want to create a safe environment.

I hope that Millard North is teaching young people how to be kind, how to care for others, and how to make the world better than they found it. My role as an educator is to care for the students entrusted to me. That means keeping students as safe as possible whenever I can,” IB DP Coordinator Rhonda Betzold said. 

The Assistant Principal Mary Bayne explains that the MN staff continues to emphasize school safety and do their part in order to deal with conflict or emergency encounters. 

“We have a greater emphasis on securing doors and teamwork to assure safety as a whole. The teachers are

trained in CPR and first aid. There is increased signage for reminders on doors. Our regular drills for lockout and lockdown,” Bayne said.

As safety becomes a bigger issue the protocols begin playing a bigger role. A big part of that is communication. While some students are very good with communicating problems, others may struggle. 

“I think it’s out of fear, peer pressure they get from their friends, they don’t want to appear as if they’re snitches. But when you report something it’s not just for your safety. If you choose not to say anything then you put yourself in opposition to safety because you’re choosing not to say anything when you should say something,” Carlisle said.

Strict safety protocols have been put into place at MN in order to make the students feel comfortable in their learning environment.

“I typically feel pretty safe at school, and don’t really worry about my safety much here. Having Officer Carlisle walking around the hallways and out front makes me feel safe,” Senior Callie Stalnaker said. 

As MN continues to promote safety and emphasize the importance of students following all rules and regulations, Carlisle does his part to keep the students safe as well. 

“If I hear something the first thing I’m going to do is notify the administration. If they hear something, they’re gonna notify me. We work in close partnership with one another and keep each other informed because they help me do my job and I help them do their job. I think that it’s important that we stay on top of people not gaining illegal access or inappropriate access to schools,” Carlisle said. 

In combination with student reporting, the communication between the administrations, officers, and other stakeholders, the team continues to provide a safe environment for their students. 

“We want students to feel safe at Millard North, but we also want them to know how important they are in the process of providing safety. It takes everybody,” Bayne said.