Schools should have a different way to warn people when they have a lockdown because of a danger to students. They should have a quieter way to alert the kids and teachers so the intruder doesn’t hear the alarm or the announcements. If the intruder hears he might know what a lockdown is and he’ll know you’re hiding so they’ll attack. Schools should also have more lockdown drills.
There should be more than just two police officers protecting the six different schools in Payson because if a dangerous person intrudes with no officer on duty, then there’s a problem. Schools should build higher fences so that no dangerous person will climb the fence and intrude into the school zones.
Schools should have police officers come in every couple of weeks and teach the class about safety. They should teach about fires, robbers, and explosions and how to stay safe in those, and other unsafe situations.
Schools should have an intercom that you can’t hear outside because if you’re playing you may get interrupted when it’s only for teachers. That can help you be safe because if you’re playing a running game you might not pay attention to where you’re running and might trip and fall. You also might run into something or someone.
If kids are outside at recess and the school calls a lockdown, then there should be a place for those students to go that’s safe but not in the school. If the students go back into the building a dangerous person might see them going into the building and might harm them.
We are worried about safety at recess because there are cars driving close to the fenced playground with students playing close to the fence. If a shooter, such as the shooter that killed students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December, drove near the fence with a gun students would be unprotected.
The gate to the playground is always unlocked. An unlocked gate allows anyone to enter the playground. Cars are always pulling up near to where students enter through the gate creating a traffic hazard.
But we don’t like the idea of teachers and principals having guns to protect students at school. Some teachers might use the guns as weapons against students.
Julia Randall Elementary School (JRE) this semester offered an after-school journalism class funded by a grant from the Payson Area Association of Advanced Learners (PAAL).
Six students, three girls and three boys, one from each grade level at JR,E worked diligently to improve their writing. The same class provided commentaries for a Tuesday story about teacher evaluations, but due to an editing error the story said they attended the middle school, not JRE.
PAAL, a parent teacher organization, supports advanced learning opportunities in Rim Country school districts, including an engineering class at Payson High School, have organized trips to Washington D.C., New York, and a marine biology trip to Southern California.
JRE music teacher Juli Davies was the faculty advisor for the journalism class. Today, Mason Taylor and Joshua Utterback offer their perspective on school safety.