Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hamilton makes strides towards a safer building

Staff badges have been the talk of the school the last few weeks, and some think that students should wear them as well.

All Hamilton staff have been wearing a Hamilton Hawkeyes lanyard with an identification badge hooked to the end since school resumed on January 29, after the long snow–day–inflicted five day weekend.

According to administrators, Hamilton schools have been continuously looking for new options to keeping the students safe, and ID badges have been talked about for a while.

“It is our job to keep (students) as safe as possible,” Co-Principal Mr. Mat Rehkopf said. “We need for kids to be able to identify who the adults are and whether or not they should be here.”

Most teachers have accepted the new protocol well.

“If they tell me that I need to wear one, then I will wear one,” math teacher Mr. Blaine Lugten said.

“I don’t think it is highly unusual, and it’s not too much to ask,” social studies teacher Mr. Colly Carlson said.  He did add though: “I think it is kind of a silly response to the shooting and school violence.”

“I don’t really think it is that weird,” English teacher Mrs. Jacquie Johr said. “It’s a protocol followed by other schools and businesses. I just have trouble finding a place to put it because I refuse to wear the lanyard.”

Even though most staff members do not have a problem with their new badges, some still feel that it is not enough to keep students safe.

“This isn’t going to save anybody,” health teacher Ms. Mary Aufderheide said while holding up her badge. “I think everybody should have to wear badges. I should be able to know who the students are as well.”

She added that: “I also believe that doors should be equipped with a scanner instead of a lock.  That way, I can scan my badge to get into a classroom, and not have that specific key. If the teacher isn’t available and we need to lock kids in a room, it would be easier to get students to safety quicker. I think that would help more than anything.”

Mr. Carlson agreed.

“I think we should be able to get into the building with our badges instead of keys.”

As staff and students adjust to the new changes, Hamilton is still looking for ways to improve the school’s safety.

“We have talked about different ways we can make the school more secure, but those things get talked about all the time,” Mr. Rehkopf said.

Even though the jokes fly through the halls and classrooms about ‘oh, I feel so much safer now!’, many feel it is still an important improvement that the school has made to ensure student safety.

 

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