Focus on safety in 18-19 school year

Ariel Akuneme, News Editor, Staff Writer

Due to the unfortunate number of shootings that have pervaded American schools this year, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy has implemented stricter security measures on its campus for the 2018-2019 school year.

“Now there is only one entrance to every school… it makes it easier for us to see who’s coming in,” said Luis Hernandez, Thomas Jefferson’s resource officer.  Students, parents, and visitors may now only enter through the front entrance of the middle school and the main entrance of the high school, within view of the school staff in the offices. John Adams’ Hall is now always locked, and if students are going between the middle and high school portions of the campus, they must take the route around the buses, away from the highway.

According to Hernandez, these changes have allowed teachers to better monitor students during transition: “Every time you step out of class, you should be able to see Mr. Stearns, Mr. Darby, Mr. Westbrook; they’re outside. What they’re doing is looking, and if something suspicious happens, they call me right away.”

Thomas Jefferson’s stricter security policies are supported and enforced by its new principal, Mrs. Bridges. “I’ve been in a school where a kid was shot,” Mrs. Bridges stated. “[He] shot eight times into the classroom. I watched my school go through lots of problems over that … and the healing, it was tough.”

In the world we now live in, these kinds of precautions are the new reality. “This is not the easiest campus to make safe,” Mrs. Bridges stated, “but I do think that the nature of society today is something we have to pay attention to.”