Being Safe At School

Safety in schools has been a significant concern at Tucker as well as the whole nation. With the media and news outlets showing the terrible situations students have to face, it brings us to one question; "How can we help the school become a safer environment for not just myself but my peers as well?" I interviewed Officer Akers, our very own campus police officer located at F223, on his thoughts about how we can make school a safer place.

During the interview, I asked him if students could contribute to making the school a safer place. Officer Akers believes that implementing a community approach to safety is the best way to make schools safer. That means that if we as a whole group work together, we can prevent security threats from happening. Trying to make the school a safer place takes courage and a sense of community. A quote on his door that compliments this approach is ``If you see something, say something.” This way, school officials can take action.

Officer Akers believes that all students should abide by this but end up not doing so because of the mentality, 'It's not my problem' or 'I'm not snitching.' As students, we should get out of that mentality because when we talk about safety, it is regarding your well-being and others. When it comes to something being wrong that could endanger a stranger coming into the school or us, someone has to say something immediately. You may be wondering who we can report it to if you see something that could be a potential security threat or if you can tip anonymously. Administrators, teachers, and security personnel are the people who should notify you when you see something that could be a potential security threat instead of telling your friends, which can cause people to panic or inflate the initial truth. When reporting, you can choose to have someone else tell them, or you can say to them and stay anonymous, but if it is a high-profile claim like someone having a weapon, you have to give your name.

Officer Akers also mentioned the importance of being more compassionate to others even in a more violent world over the years. Especially with situations about school attacks around the nation, it may start to feel normal. Eventually, one becomes numb, but instead of surrendering, if you see something, say something to prevent tragedies. An example would be a kid who brought a weapon to school. Officer Akers put it in a critical perspective: to look at things at face value and respond accordingly. That same kid brought a weapon and it was reported because who knows what they will do, and it is a weapon that should already be reason enough to speak up.

Safety is our first priority in school, and anything that happens in school does not just affect one part of the school. It affects all of us. Keep that in mind so that when you see something wrong, say something, and it can be dealt with accordingly. A major thanks to Officer Akers for the insight on how students can contribute to making the school a safer place.