New security protocals announced at PHS

November, 2022
Leila GuittonAsya MorozovMeiya Xiong

As announced in the Chmiel Spiel on November 2, a number of new security measures will soon be introduced at PHS, all with the goal of increasing student safety. Along with requiring all students and staff to wear ID badges, these new measures will prepare the school for an emergency by ensuring that all of the school’s doors and windows are numbered.

These changes were not prompted by any particular emergency, but are meant to improve the general safety of the school for everyone. PHS Assistant Principal Rashone Johnson stresses that he and the administration strive to make safety a priority for everyone at PHS.

“Everything that we do we’re doing for the safety of the entire building … It’s not just one group of kids, we’ve got over 2,000 people that we’re trying to make sure are staying safe,” Johnson said.

The primary purpose of the lanyards will be to make it easier for staff to discern between students, visitors, and those who shouldn’t be in the building. Students will be given a colored lanyard and visitors a differently-colored lanyard so that staff can easily tell the difference between the two.

According to Johnson, the lanyards will also make it easier for teachers to take attendance by letting students quickly record their attendance using student ID badges.

“Once we evolve, [students] will have the ability to tap into the rooms that [they are] going to for attendance…We'd be able to see where everybody is, and then we'll be able to sooner know who’s here and who’s not here, accountability-wise, so it makes everything happen a lot quicker,” Johnson said.

Another new security measure is that numbers are going to be assigned to all doors and windows, ensuring that in the case of an emergency, emergency workers are able to navigate to where they need to be as fast as possible.

“When we’re talking about emergencies, time is extremely important, so we want [emergency workers] to be able to get to and know the situation as quickly as possible,” Johnson said.

The administration is attempting to have these new policies implemented as soon as possible. While the exact timing of these changes is dependent on when the supplies arrive, they hope to introduce the lanyard policy, specifically, sooner rather than later.

Johnson hopes that the changes will be instituted smoothly and as a result, benefit PHS’s school climate. However, because of the limited amount of information that has been released about the plan, Johnson feared that it would receive some criticism.

Ero Christy ’25 expressed feelings that the new security measures were largely unneeded.

“I understand that a lot of the security policies were put in place because some kids [might come] in who aren’t supposed to, but I think [the new changes] are really unnecessary … It doesn’t seem like it’s actually that much of a security issue,” Christy said.

Koen Moulton ’23 on the other hand isn’t as worried about the changes, as long as their impact on day-to-day learning stays small.

“To be honest, as long as they don’t keep it too strict, then I’m okay with it, but if I have to constantly show my ID all the time, I think that would be pretty troublesome,” Moulton said.

In response to criticism regarding the plan, Johnson argues that student safety should be the biggest priority for the school. He hopes that going forward, students and educators alike will recognize the benefits of the new changes.

“We’ve heard some opinions, but everybody’s safety in the building trumps that stuff,” said Johnson. “[Wearing a lanyard] is not as big of an ask as you might think for the safety that it increases in the building.”