By: Bella Skinner
Every time we read the news, it seems as if there’s a new story about heinous crimes directed towards schools. So what are Jenks Public Schools doing to prevent violence at their campuses? In a survey given to Jenks students asking if they felt safe at school, an impressive 71.3% of students answered that they did; but still, 28.7% of students felt as if Jenks still has a lot of room for growth.
Jenks is currently taking many steps towards improvement to ensure the safety of all trojans. Safety is the number one priority to the school board.
“Our district has had a philosophy for a very long time that ‘If you don’t have safety in place, good learning cannot happen,’” says Jenks High School head principal David Beiler.
Jenks has multiple organizations to rely on if an emergency ever occurs. Jenks Campus Police work hard to keep stability around all of the campuses in the district.
“We patrol all campuses, elementary to high school, as a presence of security of safety for the students so that they feel safe,” states Chief of Police for the Jenks Public School District Jonas Smith.
Jenks also has a School Emergency Response Team (SERT).
“That team has gone through extensive training and have FEMA certifications that qualify them to volunteer and respond to a natural disaster anywhere in the nation that you would see in the news,” says Beiler. “We have a group of individuals at that level of certification, so if we ever have a true emergency anywhere in the district, they get contacted and they ‘come a-runnin’.”
Along with this, Jenks has taken steps towards furthering optimized safety at the high school campus. This year, a gate will be put in place at the front of the campus and should be finished by late October. Also, a new app has been approved, allowing students to inform authorities about any threats that Jenks may be facing.
“The school district is about to roll out a 411 tip app that all students will have access to and they can anonymously send messages to us and let us know if they see or hear something,” says Smith. “This helps us as a whole to keep the district safe.’’
But aside from all of the advancements, some students still say that they do not feel safe.
“It’s scary how big it [Jenks] is. Anyone can walk in at any moment,” says Junior Amber Woltjer.
Junior Anderson Acebo also agrees.
“Our campus is so open. Anyone could pop up.”
With this in mind, the addition of the gate should help alleviate some of these concerns.
“Vehicles won’t be able to drive up through the heart of campus,” says Beiler.
Though Jenks working to keep students comfortable and secure, this is not the end of the conversation about student safety.
“There’s always room to improve. If you ever relax and think you have everything taken care of, that’s when you get into trouble,” says Beiler. “The same group that I worked with on the gate, is the same group that will start some discussions this Fall about a comprehensive plan to help cut down on vulnerable spots on campus.”
Smith states further,
“We are continuously monitoring and reevaluating our safety and emergency procedures.”
When attending school, students should never be burdened with the idea that they may be in harm. Student safety is the single-handedly most important aspect of any school. Jenks is aware that being overconfident in current safety precautions can be a threat in itself. For students to ensure their own safety, Beiler and Smith want students to know
“If you see or hear something, please say something so we can take care of the issue.”
Stay safe trojans, and remember, your safety is very important to the Jenks school district. If you have any concerns about the safety around campus, learn more about the Trojan Tipline here.