School safety has become an area of concern for many in the last few decades. There was a time when it was just assumed students would be safe at school. The worst anybody figured would happen is maybe a fight between a couple of students.
That naiveté would be shattered in 1999, when two students opened fired on their classmates at Columbine High School. Columbine would become a name synonymous with tragedy, and places like Newtown, Conn., and Parkland, Fla., would join it on the list of every parents’ worst fears coming true.
Thankfully, nothing in that realm has happened in our schools. We are fortunate to have a dedicated police force whose main priority is protecting the students. We also have teachers and staff who know what to do when a problem arises on campus.
We saw that happen twice in the 2018-19 school year. A Brunswick High student was arrested in September after allegedly making a threat on social media to go on a shooting spree. Glynn Academy was put in lockdown in October after reports of a student having a gun on campus.
Having a police force, as well as the cooperation of other local law enforcement agencies, and teachers and staff who know how to handle volatile situations is a great benefit. But the board of education took security to its logical conclusion at Tuesday’s meeting.
The school board approved a bid that will allow work to begin on gating off a portion of Glynn Academy’s campus. Gates will be installed on the portion of Mansfield Street that runs through Glynn Academy’s campus.
The project will complete the goal of fencing off the entire campus.
Glynn Academy’s layout is unique for a high school. It’s open layout has the feel of a college campus and while that uniqueness should be preserved, fencing off the school is a necessity in this day and age.
Without the proper fencing, anyone could reasonably stumble onto campus, even without trying to do so.
The fencing will help prevent people who shouldn’t be on campus from disrupting the students.
We applaud the school board and school officials who realized the dangers posed and worked hard to find a solution. We also appreciate the city commission for doing what was needed on its end to help make the school safer.
Nobody wants to imagine the worst of outcomes happening in one of our schools. But if we want to prevent such a tragedy from happening, we need to secure our schools to do just that. The added fencing around Glynn Academy will help protect every student, teacher and staffer who walk its halls.