By Jared Shuff
In today’s climate, it is nearly impossible to enter a high school without following the proper protocols. The doors remain locked, visitors must sign in and anything suspicious is immediately reported.
After experiencing these levels of security, students may be shocked by how open Hutchinson Community College seems to be. With the current rise of active shootes, students need to stay aware of safety protocols on campus. How do they compare with high school protocols?
Katherine Sheldon, a freshman from Hutchinson, had this to say about her high school security. “I mean, we would lock doors, and only have one entrance where you could actually get in. We didn’t really have any security guards, we just had the local police.”
The school would have drills every so often where the doors would be locked, lights turned off, and all the students would hide so they were not visible through the window on the door.
When asked about the comparison between HutchCC and her high school, she began to notice some possible issues.
“I mean, the doors aren’t locked, like, at all,” Sheldon said. “It’s easier to get into buildings and the teachers haven’t told us safety protocols for a situation like that.”
She said she assumes that students would follow the same protocols at a high school – lock the doors and hide. She doesn’t know for sure though, and that has her worried. She had a few ideas that she believes would make the campus safer.
“I mean, I don’t know if they have video cameras or anything like that in the hallways, but that would help,” Sheldon said. “Maybe make it more difficult for people to get into the buildings.”
Steve Dunmire, Lead Security Officer, shared some of his knowledge on the protocols here, as well as possible security measures that could be added.
“It can get sort of complicated since the students are adults and we can’t force a decision on how to act,” Dunmire said, describing the difficulties of an active shooter situation.
He has the ability to send alerts over the phone, but that can take a few minutes to reach everyone. According to him, the best way to respond is the “run, hide, or fight” response.
If you can escape campus, do so quickly. If not, find a room to hide in and barricade the door. You can kick out a window if the room has one and escape through it. As a last resort, improvise a weapon and fight your way out of the situation.
“Chairs and tables can make good makeshift weapons. Women’s purses can actually be a good source for improvised weapons. They are usually filled with all sorts of sharp objects,” Dunmire said.
Dunmire has his own ideas on how the campus could be made safer for situations like this.
“I’ve talked about having a campus police department, as well as adding more security cameras,” Dunmire said. “However, it all comes down to money.”
There is still a suggested safety protocol to follow in an active shooter situation, and all the information can be found on DragonZone.
“Of course, if they pick up a paper and read this article, that would definitely help,” Dunmire said.