Security measures overlook some students’ needs


Casey Metcalf

The wheelchair accessible button outside of the front doors can only work when the buzzer is pressed and the front office is notified. Some students, however, cannot reach the buzzer, needing assistance to enter the school when they did not need help prior to this change.

Casey Metcalf, Staff Writer

With all the new security measures being taken, the latest one to be implemented is the use of the security door and buzzer at the main entrance of the school, which alerts the attendance office when someone needs to enter the building. Press the button, the office camera shows you out there, and you are buzzed in. While this is simply inconvenient for the masses, it is more than that for some students. For some students, it can change their whole day, and make it difficult to be independent.

Previously, the door had a wheelchair accessible button that could be pressed to open the door, but with the new security system where you must be buzzed in, the wheelchair button no longer opens the entryway. Instead, you must press the intercom, talk to the office, have them buzz you in, and then finally press the accessible button. While this isn not a problem for most, there are students in the school that are physically unable to reach up and press the buzzer, due to it being higher up than the accessible button.

This makes it extremely difficult for students who have wheelchairs and are not able to reach the buzzer to go throughout the day independently. Getting into the school is something most students take for granted, but this fault in the security system is a completely unnecessary hassle for a significant population at the high school.

KT Menke, one of the Special Education Associates, has concerns about the new installment on the building. “The goal of all of our students is as much independence as possible,” Menke said. “So [the door] kind of takes a little bit of their independence away.” The thought that certain students in the school are unable to do something they have always been able to do, just because of a few inches in placement, is crazy.

The simple solution would have been to place the buzzer immediately next to the accessible button, but secretary Kathy Hammans, who handles opening the door and controlling the intercom, has never heard of the problem. “If there are specific students that cannot open [the door], we really need to know about that,” Hammans said. “Nobody has ever mentioned that to me.”

If the problem is simply known about, there could most likely be a solution soon.

“Administration is always willing to work with the students needs and put those needs first,” Hammans said. “I know they would instantly do whatever they could do for that. Is there someone who has gone to them with that problem yet? I don’t know, all I know is that I fight with that button after school, trying to get kids outside the building.”

Sometimes all that needs to happen for a problem to be solved is for the problem to be known, and if no one knows that the buzzer is bringing difficulties to students in the school, it’s no wonder no changes have come about. So talk to administration, talk to the attendance office, talk to anyone. Spread the word, and it might just make independence that much easier for your fellow students.