Security committees discuss campus safety concerns


Emerson Wright

TAP IN. Greta List, right, enters through the Judd Hall, and taps her ID on a scanner as a part of new security policies implemented this school year.

Caledonia Abbey, Midway Reporter

Since the start of the school year, the Lab Schools administration has been working to increase security and safety measures by implementing a new ID procedure and developing two groups to continue to work on additional improvements.

Concerns elevated after results of the Student Health and Wellness Survey showed that four students reported bringing a gun to school property during the 2017-18 school year with 14 reporting to have known about a gun at school within that same period of time.

“It’s obviously concerning that we would have reports of weapons on school or campus, regardless of our ability to conclude things from that small data set,” Christopher Jones, Lab Schools associate director for operations, said.

One method the school has in place to deal with these types of situations is the Threat Assessment Team. Composed of administrators, faculty members and law enforcement, the team has been active since 2016.

The group can take reports of threats and, as a team, “is in a position to analyze those situations and support the people or person who is feeling threatened or is a threat,” Mr. Jones said, with the primary purpose being to prevent that situation from becoming violent or dangerous.

An All-School Security Committee has also been active at Lab since 2016 with the goal of creating a forum to, according to Mr. Jones, “advise and review school and university policies and practices around safety and security at Lab.” Parents, teachers, administrators, as well as students from both the middle school and high school have served on the committee, which meets quarterly during the school year.

With student involvement in security practices at Lab increasing, Mr. Jones said that he hopes to encourage more communication when it comes to student safety, emphasizing the importance of using the resources available at Lab.

“If you feel like there’s something that is threatening and violent that might happen, [students] should always feel comfortable telling an adult they trust that they’re concerned about behavior, or something they see, or something they’ve heard,” Mr. Jones said. “That will get to a counselor, that will get to an administrator, and we will do everything we can to interrupt that.”