Keeping HHS students secure

The past year has been a scary one for America. Many shootings have happened, and many people have lost their lives because of gun violence. After the shooting at Newtown, schools across the country have started to either create new safety protocols or reinforce ones that have already been instated, and Heritage is not an exception.

Ms. Stacey Riendeau, Principal, and Mrs. Janet Sedivy, Assistant Principal who is also in charge of safety, believe that there are many steps that can be taken to protect Heritage and prevent violent incidents from happening.

“Honestly, none of our safety policies have changed except for the magnets being put in the doors around the school so that they cannot be opened from the outside,” says Riendeau. “We are just trying to make sure that the students will increase their level of awareness as to what the safety protocols are,” she says, referring to plans already in place like not opening doors for strangers outside and having safety officers all over campus.

“We’ve started doing drills because we think that it will make the student population feel safer,” says Sedivy. “We don’t want to confuse the drill for the real thing, which is why we’ve had teachers communicate this plan with the students.”

Riendeau and Sedivy both emphasized on how important it is to prevent bullying in the school, so that the school can prevent violent issues from occurring.

“The only way to stay safe is to have open conversations when something doesn’t feel right,” says Riendeau. “We need to get the resources for the people who are having violent thoughts before they get to the point where they feel like they need to be heard.”

The administration spends a lot of time following up on tips and concerns from students and staff members. Every time that a bullying incident is reported, whether it is online or at school, the administration addresses the issue and tries to prevent violence from getting any further.

“The building is very safe and secure, and we do believe that this is one of the safest places for students to be,” says Sedivy.

Mrs. Katie Krumm started teaching at Heritage in 1998 and believes that in order to stay safe the staff and administration need to talk to the students about real dangers.

“These issues could be avoided if we stand unified against any violence,” says Krumm. “We can never be one-hundred percent sure that we can stay safe, but having students be aware of the presence of threats, security guards and what the protocol is can help immeasurably against any future violence.”

Littleton Public Schools is rated eleventh in the nation for being one of the safest school districts.

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