Locked Doors: A Practical Solution?

If you have a class at the middle school, you are probably familiar with the aggravation of locked doors. The new security system at Pentucket orders all students to use the front entrance when they reenter the high school, and we pass two perfectly assessable doorways on the way there. Is this new security procedure practical?

It is bad enough that we don’t have a facility that supports the entire student body, but now administrators expect us to walk double the distance in subzero temperatures. The path connecting the middle school to the high school serves as a wind tunnel that kicks up snow and sand, and after walking on this path every day during the worst winter in Massachusetts history, it is safe to say that this walk is less than enjoyable.

When students make their way back to the high school after their classes at the middle school, they usually stand at the closest door and knock until a student on the inside opens the door. Teachers complain that the students are disruptive, and they have tried to solve the issue by taping signs to the door that order students to walk to the front entrance. This attempt has failed, and their most recent effort to stop the students includes removing the outside door handles from the door.

Brett Repke, a junior at Pentucket, says that he gets back into the school each day through these doors after his German class in the middle school. He is part of the cluster that bangs on the door until someone lets them in. Repke says this new security procedure makes him feel “cold” and “sad.”

Pentucket junior Nate Hey shared an experience he had one day on his walk back from his German class in the middle school. He walked all the way to the front entrance, respecting the rules, and when he rang the buzzer to be let in, nobody unlocked the door. He says, “I had to wait for someone to walk by.” If the staff at Pentucket isn’t going to carry out this new rule, how do they expect students to?

Here is a proposed solution: Have a staff member stand at the door closest to the middle school to let the students in. This solves the security concern and student disruption. Students would be outside for less time, too, which is essential in bad weather conditions.

Does locking a door solve problems, or create new ones? So much chaos has been caused from this policy that it is obvious Pentucket should rethink its security procedures and develop more practical solutions.