HC’s safety plan varies in efficiency


Layla Bryant

HC metal detector lines.

Layla Bryant, Reporter

Due to an increase of threats to school safety, Fayette County Public Schools implemented their 10-Point Safety Investment Plan in 2018. It is constantly being updated as new issues arise, but the initial goal was to create efficient ways to monitor people entering our schools as well as investing in student mental health resources.

The first step to this safety plan was adding additional law enforcement to the security teams in schools. This has recently been met with scrutiny, specifically from a student-run organization known as “Counselors over Cops.” They have been urging the school board to reinvest in counselors and mental health resources, rather than more police.

The organization is active on social media, gaining support from some members of the public and organizing meetings with the school board.

“School policing fuels the school to prison pipeline,” the organization stated on their Instagram page, “by systemically criminalizing students of color and with disabilities.” 

Another commonly criticized procedure is the badge system used to track hallway activity. Students seem to agree that it is more of a hassle than it’s worth, considering their constant malfunctions. This sentiment is not only held toward badges, but also toward the many forms of school security that have been shown to not be as effective as we would like to think.

“It all feels like an act,” HC freshman Joshua Braun said. 

Bag checks and metal detectors are also the culprits of constant tardiness in first-hour classes, due to understaffed bag-check teams. The long lines have caused attendance issues since the start of the year. There also seems to be no apparent decrease in students bringing in contraband, including an incident on September 14th involving a knife being brought into the school. 

“I think there’s worse [security that we could have], but ours definitely isn’t good.” HC freshman Elizabeth Curry said, “I think that we need to do a better job of actually checking students’ bags.” 

Some students think that FCPS has fallen short on meeting their goal of not only increasing their security, but also making students feel more secure in schools.

“The security here doesn’t make me feel any safer [in the school] than I would without it,” Curry said.

This seems to be the consensus among students, saying that they wish the school had the means to thoroughly check everyone’s bags and execute security measures more effectively. People don’t seem to mind the inconvenience as much as the lack of efficiency. 

While students seem to find the security to be inefficient, HC Social Studies instructor Jody Cabble seems to disagree, calling it a “minor inconvenience.” 

“I call them ‘first world problems,” Cabble said.

But an even better security measure that many staff members do is connecting with students. 

“I think that the number 1 way to protect students and maintain safety for the students and staff is what we do best at Henry Clay, which is build relationships with kids,” Cabble said.