New Carpet, New Soul: Holes remain in Perry’s security measures

Gabriel Beasley, Page Editor

The Perry Meridian High School administrative staff was busy throughout the summer overseeing numerous building renovations.

With change in the air, I found myself questioning whether all this physical change was representative of any change in how the school is run.

After reflecting on the topic, I have come to the conclusion that, for the most part, no, it has not.

Perhaps unrealized by even the people that make the decisions, many of the steps taken toward school safety are done in various manners of security theater.

With shootings nesting too comfortably in national headlines, it is understandable that the school, its faculty and its students are all wary of gun violence, and so actions taken to prevent such tragedies are rightfully motivated. Where the school is lacking is in its execution. 

“A school is an easy target,” principal Kert Boedicker says, recalling a criminal’s words. Boedicker says lanyards were implemented “to identify who comes into our buildings and who belongs in Perry Township schools.”

According to Campus Safety magazine, 62% of the roughly 1,300 school shootings since 1970 were perpetrated by either students or faculty, past or present.

To give credit where credit is due, lanyards prevent the outsider demographic, or 38% of school shootings. Where lanyards are lacking is that identifying a student or faculty member doesn’t prevent them from committing violent acts.

Preventative measures, in order to be fully effective, need to be taken for the student body as well as outside persons. Only then will PMHS be fully effective in preventing any sort of violent tragedy.

But true safety is neither simple nor convenient. This would likely require heavy restrictions such as metal detectors, along with heightened surveillance and police presence.

An environment so strict as to entail such measures, while much safer, would not be beneficial to students. School shootings are rare, and restrictions every day take a toll on students. Security taken seriously would result in an overly austere atmosphere.