Staples Locks Down at the Start of the School Year

Max Bibicoff, Staff Writer

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Nearly two years since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the Westport Board of Education puts into action their plan of revamping school security. Most Staples students have either heard rumors or seen the new features firsthand. All of the classroom doors now have an automatic locking system, and the entirety of the ground floor windows have a layer of protective film over them.

In a recent interview via email, Principal Dodig discussed the process of the new security measures.

“Kroll Associates spent three days in our schools and submitted a report to the Superintendent of Schools,” Dodig said. “Two of the suggestions were to place the film on the doors and windows of the ground level of all buildings, and the other was to change all of the locks so doors are always locked.”

It is without a doubt that these new security features provide the school with an enhanced feeling of safety, but both teachers and students have had to adjust to the classroom’s permanent locking.

“When I am coming back to class from the bathroom, the door is always locked,” Jackie Hornung ’16 said. “A student or teacher has always had to come let me in, and I feel guilty disturbing the class. Teachers have now said to go to the bathroom only when it is an emergency because it is an annoyance to unlock the door in the middle of a lesson.”

“Many teachers leave the door shut and deal with it,” Matthew Chinitz ’17 added.

Students and faculty will eventually be having to get used to these changes, since they are reportedly not the last to come. The Westport BOE is in the process of implementing further changes for the near future to ensure students’ overall safety.

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