Safety precautions leave some students locked out of main campus

Jacob Williams, Opinion Editor

Students with classes in K1 and the Theater frequently find themselves locked out after class—forcing them to either walk around to the front of the school and go through the main office or wait for a kindly peer to open the nearby gates.

To access the campus through the K- or L-building gates and walk through the Quad reduces travel time for students, who are limited to a six-minute passing period. Traveling from the K1 and Theater classes to the front gate and then straight across campus can exceed those minutes, particularly if the student needs to use the restroom.

This reporter traveled two routes from the Theater to the A-building to determine which was faster.

A student on route one would spend about a minute and a half getting to the L-gate and then another two and a half minutes getting to the A-building, assuming that the L-gate is open.

A student on route two would spend about seven minutes going through the front gate and then across campus, assuming the side gates are closed. This student would be tardy to his next class.

A student traveling from K1 would spend about five minutes and fifteen seconds going through the front gate and then traveling straight across campus to the A-building, assuming the side gates are closed. This student would nearly be tardy to his next class.

Students in K1 are upset that the K-gate is closed and they have to rush to class when the gate is locked. They routinely have to ask a passing student to admit them onto campus.

Some students have begun opening the gates for the incoming students, but Theater teacher Rich Harlow has his own solution: he releases his students about a minute early.

The students “get to the gates at about the time the bell rings anyway,” Harlow said.

However, according to Principal Bill Atterberry, students are only supposed to be using the L-gate and the main gate.

“No one’s supposed to be using side gates,” Atterberry said. “Those gates are supposed to be locked, and that’s to keep intruders out.”

Atterberry said that besides the front gate, only the L-gate should be open, and only during passing periods and lunch. That gate is supposed to be monitored by a campus supervisor.

Atterberry did not know that students were having this problem, and said that he will remedy it to the best of his ability. He also acknowledged that this is a problem for students who are late upon returning from lunch, but said that the system is implemented to promote campus safety and keep intruders out.

“That’s fair,” Atterberry said. “That’s an inconvenience, but the alternative is much worse.”

While students clamor at the gates to be admitted entrance by their peers, Atterberry does not want students opening the K-gate or any gate other than the L-gate.

“The [L-gate] has to be open on a regular basis,” Atterberry said. “We don’t want to get in the way of students getting to their classes, but there are going to be some things that are inconvenient.”

It is advised that students use the L-gate near the cafeteria. If the gate is not already open, chances are someone will take pity on the stranded student and open the gate.

Atterberry said that he will attempt to have a supervisor routinely monitor the L-gate.

Senior Brian Hoang is dissatisfied with having the gates so often locked. He said that the school needs to be more consistent at keeping the gates controlled and campus more easily accessible to students.

“If you’re going to make a rule, then you better enforce it,” Hoang said.

Hoang wants the L-gate consistently open for students.

“It makes it convenient for going to class,” Hoang said.