EYE OF THE TIGER’S VIEW: Safety updates fortify campus
April 3, 2017
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Administration’s steps toward a safer campus may birth skepticism from students concerned about losing privacy. In reality, though, admin is working for students, not against them. In considering campus surveillance cameras, introducing an online bullying report system and reinforcing the “run, hide, fight” active threat procedure, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Putting an end to racist incidents and bullying is, and should be, the chief objective on a campus so recently struck with hate crimes.
Cameras will however record audio, something that seems like overkill. Audio will be beneficial in granting further administrative understanding of conflicts, but for 99 percent of students, going about their days as usual, knowing their conversations are being recorded will be unsettling.
The anonymous bullying report service is valuable in that students who abide by the laws of “snitches get stitches” will no longer have anything to hold them back from protecting fellow students. Because students may prefer the new system over gathering the confidence to verbally report abuse, this district step will hopefully encourage students to contribute to campus security rather than give into negative peer pressure.
However, anyone can falsely accuse their peers of bullying through an anonymous system. RHS runs the risk of reports that may harm innocent students. Students may abuse the system, using the service as a channel to further inflate a situation with false information. Administration should use the student reports as an investigative tip and make clear that erroneous reports won’t fly.
The “Run, Hide, Fight” procedure differs from the many drills RHS students are accustomed to.
As with any potentially dangerous situation, students and parents will want to be in the know. Introducing new procedures is important. It is equally crucial to ensure students realize they have these options in the face of danger, and that parents know what their children are encouraged to do in the face of an active threat.
Students should realize that the procedure properly iterates the importance of protecting one’s self and others – fighting being the daunting, yet potentially necessary aspect of safety. Perhaps if steps were taken to integrate self defense and safety maneuvers into the intruder safety drills, students may gain more confidence and composure in active threat situations.
Students need to realize that administrators aren’t the intruders, bullies or vandals. The real threats are out there and administration is stressing the need to be prepared.