Security at OHS causes controversy


Photo by Ananya Thekkemelepatt

Students across the OHS campus struggle to enter the building through side doors and face bottlenecks at other entrances.

Ananya Thekkemelepatt, News Editor

Everyone agrees that a school campus should be considered a safe space for all students to be in, whether it be during classes or during extracurricular activities. However, new changes to the way OHS is handling security may be making it a bit too difficult.

There are two issues at hand currently: side doors of the buildings are being locked and students are not being allowed to wait on campus past their scheduled classes. Of course, there are points to both policies, but now the question is do the pros of these policies truly outweigh the cons.

The newest policy, side doors being locked, was originally made to prevent students from going in the buildings during lunch. According to security, it was decided that the hallway flow during COVID worked well for safety and security purposes so the new policy was made to mimic that.

But is this actually effective? Passing periods have gotten much more crowded around the front two doors of the buildings, and students’ routes have been drastically changed. The side doors can still be used for exiting, but crowds have begun to form there as well, as students try to go both ways through one door, to try to maintain their original routes.

Bottlenecks are being created, and passing periods have gotten overwhelmingly chaotic. In a school like OHS that has a great deal of students, more chaos and traffic is not helping anyone, if at all.

The second issue is students staying on campus past their schedules. Many students, especially seniors, have early releases every day. But many of these students also have clubs or practices after school. Some are able to go home before coming back later for their clubs and practices, but others do not have that luxury. With the amount of students OHS has, not everyone has a parking pass and some students cannot afford their own car to drive themselves back home based on their schedule. 

Before administration became strict on enforcing this policy, students would sit in hallways, the library, counseling, or possibly a teacher’s room. This is because it was widely understood that leaving for an hour would be a waste of time and unnecessary struggle for students to go through. 

Counselors have told multiple students to walk off campus to Safeway or Dutch Bros. and stay there until it is time for their club or practice. But this is purely an ignorant way of keeping the OHS campus safe.

The supposed argument for this policy is that if there was a potential fire drill or lockdown during the hour that students are just waiting, administration would not be able to keep track of them since they are not on the roster for any class that hour. Now, as valid as that argument is, staying on campus is much safer than walking to Safeway or Dutch Bros. daily.

Instead a more reasonable solution for students who need to wait past their schedules is to allow them to wait in the counseling office, the umbrella tables, or possibly even a teachers room if allowed until their club or practice begins.

The majority of the fall semester and at least half of the spring semester is during the scorching Arizona heat. Walking back and forth, off and on campus during the heat should not be suggested by the people that should be keeping their students safe.

A school’s job is to take care of students and to accommodate their students’ circumstances. Unfortunately as of now, OHS is straying away from that duty.