School Implements New Security System

On Jan 10, a new security guard began daily shifts of guarding the back parking lot to lower the risk of trespassers and provide a layer of safety for students. 

This is the second time that a security guard has been implemented. The first time was in the fall of  2018, in response to multiple problems with trespassers on campus. People would drop things off or pick up students without permission, which would cause wrecks. Due to dangerous circumstances, it was put into the school’s budget to pay the salary of two new security guards. The guards took care of the front doors and the back parking lot. 

Insufficient funds lead the school to lose the guards in 2021. Principal Kenneth DeMoss has been meeting with Wood County Board of Education members to help regain the security system after funding was discontinued after cutbacks related to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the addition of the Coplin Health Center, there’s been a higher level of unauthorized people walking around campus causing issues, creating further reason for there to be a security system put in place. The Board of Education agreed to pay half the funds for a security guard earlier in the 2022-2023 school year. The process of hiring included contracts and insurance, making it take a few months to get the guard in place.

The duties of the security guard include: making sure people parking on campus have a parking tag, enforcing that students don’t leave campus at lunch, checking that everyone entering the campus should be there, and making sure people going to the health center check in and are only there for the hour their appointment should take. If the security guard has any issues, he’s supposed to use a radio to communicate back to the office about the situation.

 “He’s basically an extension of us (the office staff) since we can’t be out there (in the back parking lot) all the time,” DeMoss said. 

Although the campus has multiple means of entry, which causes an issue regarding security measures, the guard is useful as a way to add another layer of security and protect students given the current trends of school violence. DeMoss said he knows that students will find the addition inconvenient but if they understand it’s for their safety, he believes that those students will be fine with it, even if they find it annoying. 

“The students bothered by it aren’t doing what they’re supposed to anyways,” DeMoss said. “It’s not an inconvenience, it’s for students’ safety.”