Opinion | ETHS needs to keep students aware of safety incidents

Aliya Gillon, Staff Writer

When it comes to safety at ETHS, there are different ways to evaluate the level of security that students feel within the school walls. In my experience, ETHS, for the past few months, has not been concerned with the general safety and wellbeing of students. For instance, at the beginning of the year I wanted to go to the Hub, and my learning strategies teacher ran out of passes, so he assumed that it would be okay to let me leave without one. As I was walking down the hallway to the Hub, I was stopped by a safety officer and he began yelling at me that I needed a pass. At that moment, I felt unsafe due to the actions of someone whose job it is to make me feel safe. I’m uncomfortable with the fact that the safety officer decided that yelling at me was the right decision, instead of allowing me the opportunity to explain my situation. I understand the intention behind having passes because it’s an additional safety measure, but yelling at me didn’t solve anything. If I’m going to feel safe at school, I need to know that the people there to keep me safe will not cause further harm to my wellbeing.

Another thing I have noticed on this topic of safety at ETHS is the lack of reassurance when it comes to serious things that happen in-school. As of lately, ETHS has this process where, when something happens, they wait hours to inform the student body, then reassure us about the “resources available.” Let’s be honest, very few students are going to actually utilize those resources. Instead of an email, we want to feel assured that we’re safe, and we obviously don’t want to feel like we’re not informed of the things that happen at ETHS. When a student brings a loaded gun to school or a dead body is found on the premises, we want to get more than just an email. Now, I’m not saying that the school should always tell us about every single thing that happens, but it obviously makes students, including myself, uncomfortable when they are unaware at times. The confusion creates a lot of anxiety and fear that many of us don’t need.  

Ultimately, how can we feel safe if we don’t feel reassured that the school has our best interests in mind? So, I ask that ETHS commits to three tangible actions to improve student safety. I would first like the administration to begin informing us about serious problems that happen in-school immediately, instead of waiting hours to tell us. Secondly, acknowledge the fact that even though we have a plethora of “safety rules” and “safety measures,” not all students will see them as something important, or be able to follow them at all times. It’s time for ETHS to start asking students what they need, because we have been blatantly left out of the conversation. Lastly, I ask that ETHS consider this message about how we can work together to make the environment feel safer for students and staff alike.