In recent years, security has been highly prevalent in our daily lives. With constant news reports of schools facing serious threats, students are more concerned than ever over how they are being protected at school. Even at Manogue, the student body has had to adjust to new security procedures and consider how they feel their safety should be handled. Because of this, we, the students deserve to know about how the Manogue administration is planning on protecting us. To learn more about the issue, I was able to speak to Principal Thoreson to hear what she had to say about the new school security.
“We believe that safety is a two-fold thing,” Thoreson began, “not only is it safety in the building, but it’s also a social, emotional thing.” Mrs. Thoreson clearly takes this idea very seriously, and she has taken action to prove it. This summer Thoreson was a leader of Governor Sandoval’s safety task force for the state, which outlined new security measures for Nevada schools to ensure students’ physical and emotional wellbeing.
The first step that the school wants to take is securing our physical safety. The administration plans on building new infrastructure over the next five years and hiring full-time school security guards to monitor and protect us during and after school, and at school events. Teachers are also becoming more involved in our safety, with new security meetings happening monthly throughout the year. Thoreson also wants students to become more aware of their surroundings. She feels that “the amount of people who don’t know what to do [in an emergency situation] is scary,” and she wants to make sure that students are always aware of the best course of action to take during and emergency.
Thoreson strongly believes in preventative measures as well. She feels that emotional security is paramount in preventing future threats and creating a positive student community. This process begins with an awareness of others and their struggles, and follows through to promoting kindness and community building. To facilitate this, the school is introducing a few new programs to help students who are struggling with mental illness or difficult situations in their personal lives. The first is a new suicide prevention program for sophomores called Signs Of Suicide (SOS). This program will help students identify signs of suicide in their peers and will act as a preventative measure for students who feel alone in their suffering. Sophomores will also have two new single-gender retreats to build greater community and help students form new friendships. Finally, the school will be utilizing “Safe Voice,” which allows students to anonymously report potential threats and signs of suicide, and ask for help if they have no one to turn to.
“Awareness is the biggest thing,”Thoreson emphasized. “Go through a whole day without your phone or earbuds, it’s amazing what you see; you might notice more people hurting than you realize.”This awareness is key not only to our safety at school, but also to our ability to form a community with each other and help others in times of need. With these new security programs in place, our Manogue community is set to be safer and more closely knit in the future.