HC implements new “closed-door” policy to improve school safety


HC teacher Mr. Brown keeps his door closed.

Evie Smith, Co-Editor-in-Chief

HC instated a “closed-door” policy as a way to improve the safety of the school. Last school year, HC failed three safety checks; this school year, HC also failed a safety check that occurred before our most recent lockdown. There were 14 doors left either open or unlocked. Soon after, measures were taken to ensure that teachers keep their doors closed and locked at all times.

“It’s our job to make sure our doors are locked, and that our doors are closed,” HC math teacher Sarah Zehnder said, “and if the kids leave [the room], then we have to get up, and go close the door, and open the door when they [they return].”

Following the threat that occurred at HC this fall with a student bringing a weapon into the building, many teachers are all for doing everything possible to keep students and themselves safe.

“I think the lockdown was really scary,” Zehnder said, “and so anything we can do to avoid being in that situation, I’m down with. It will interrupt my class every once in a while, and that sucks, and it does get hot, but that’s an HVAC issue, not a safety issue.”

One of the teachers’ biggest complaints with the “closed-door” policy is that the HVAC system was never actually fixed to the point where temperature control was achievable. Some teachers will wish to leave their doors open in order to circulate air, however, with this new policy, that is no longer allowed, thus trapping the heat inside the room.

“I’ve had a room that has gotten up to 88 degrees,” Zehnder said, “so having to keep the door shut can make it rough, but I have windows. Opening the windows sometimes helps; opening the door is nice because then we have a breeze.”

Having to keep the door constantly shut can also lead to class interruptions, as students then have to knock to get back inside, this requires someone, either a teacher or student, to have to open the door. 

“One of the reasons that I have my room set up the way I do is so that when I’m teaching I’m standing near the door so that I can open it,” Zehnder said. “Otherwise, it’s just a hassle. If the students are working, I try to open it for them so they don’t get interrupted, but if not then [they will].”

HC has implemented this new policy in order to pass the next safety check. However, substitutes can make this a difficult feat.

“I think, one, the substitutes are an issue,” Zehnder said. “A lot of the time people will unlock the doors and leave them unlocked, and the subs have no way to lock them back. So, that’s an issue, and [two], teachers sometimes just do what they want.”

The goal of this new “closed-door” policy is to increase the safety of the school. The hope is that with the new implementations, HC will be able to pass the next safety check, which would require all doors to be closed and locked, as well as ensure the safety of everyone within the building.