Entry, not sentry

Entry, not sentry

Lucas Bleyle, Staff Reporter

Whether it is a bright red door, preceded by a welcome mat, and surrounded by a host of potted plants, or a two foot thick titanium vault door, all entrances serve this basic purpose: to be a place where people are free and welcome to enter.

The goal of Ames High School’s new entrance was to restrict, and regulate passage in and out of the building, keeping us in school, and safe. However, I will argue that it does not accomplish the latter of these.

A thread on the Facebook page Ames People regarding the entrance is a buzz of parents exuberantly exclaiming at the utter relief of knowing that their precious child is safe at school, but this is an illusion of security.

The truth is that no matter how many sets of doors we place in front of those who would want to harm and kill students, any killer will still find a way. Despite the ideas of the impregnability of our school brought about by the new entrance, our school is still very easily entered and exited.

The true effectiveness of our school was brought under fire when on Monday, my grandfather, a man void of malicious intent, found his way into the school through the old entrance without ever passing through the new entrance. He did this by happening to enter as two students were leaving.

Considering outward traffic from the school, anyone would who really wanted into the school could get into the school. Because of the new entrance, we suddenly believe that everyone in the halls is there because of permission when it very easily could not be the case. Entrances through the courtyard doors, or teachers’ doors propped open, or even through windows, could very easily allow people to bypass the new system, and if everyone in the school ignores their suspicions, and lets down their guards, it could be catastrophic.

I am not in support of locking up the entire school, with jail-like security, but I simply want to stress that we are not safer when we are subjected to this false security. We are safer when we watch out for each other and act with caution rather than unwavering confidence in a system that is not foolproof.

I’ll admit the new entrance does provide quite successfully a straightforward attendance process that allows for attendance to be more easily enforced. It helps keep students in, or at least allows for students that do choose not attend school to be monitored and dealt with.

I don’t have anything against the new entrance, I just don’t want people to believe it is something that it’s not.

Will it help against dangers to the school? Probably.

Does it mean you are one hundred percent safe at school? Absolutely not.

The new entrance is more than worthy to be the doors to this great school, but we are in no way transported to a invulnerable sanctuary when we cross that threshold.