BHS Insight

Admin Should Ask Students For Ideas

Lilly Mathieu, Staff Writer

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Stepping down from the rainbow staircase, a sign is plastered on the bulletin board reading, “Please be responsible and help keep our school safe by showing that you belong here.” The statement, accompanied by a picture of the four strikingly colored lanyards, is meant to promote students to have their “protective” lanyards slung around their necks at all times (tied around their backpacks or slithered around their hands will not suffice).

Administrators appear to believe that only outsiders, those that don’t belong in the building, may cause harm to students, hence the lanyards show that we belong here. Yet, it is difficult for any student not to recognize administration’s ignorance in this presumption.

Columbine and several other school shootings since, have been carried out by students themselves, not random outsiders with no correlation to the school. Then why does the Barnstable High School administration fail to acknowledge an “insider” threat? Why do they really think that lanyards will keep students safe? Students know that lanyards are only empty gestures to create a facade of a semi-safe environment, students know that if someone—outsider or student—wanted to harm them, lanyards are not going to keep them truly safe.

We students appreciate the measures that have been taken this year to move towards a safer school environment, but what we will never appreciate, is our voice being unheard when it comes to our own safety. If the administration wants to protect students, they must learn how to listen to students first.

Students want real protection, not lanyards and posters. Hiring another resource police officer was a great move in the right direction for BHS, but that shouldn’t be the end of the road for implementing greater security methods.

It is no secret that school shooters struggle with mental health issues, and as many would agree, mental health is often overlooked as a large concern for developing teenagers. At a nearly 1:300 counselor to student ratio, managing the mental stability of every student is impossible at BHS. A guidance counselor can’t simply know if a student is truly struggling mentally or has urges to harm themselves or others with only brief schedule-related meetings once a year. Students see this flawed system as ignorance and nothing less.

Administration may argue that their lack of a sufficient number of guidance counselors and mental health resources is due to a scarcity of funds, yet their argument is faulty and defective after they recently funded a $1.5 million bleacher renovation as it performs as an attraction to prospective students. Students who are already at Barnstable would argue that what is more attractive to them is a safe environment, where no student has to question their security when they walk into the building at 7:20 every morning.
 Students want to be included in the discussion. If the BHS administration asks students specifically what they desire to fabricate a safe learning environment, they would not only be saving their time, they’d save their money from being spent on security methods that students deem to be unfit when it comes to their safety.

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Admin Should Ask Students For Ideas