A new security system at Branford High School has been implemented this school year is causing concerns to students of all grades, especially upperclassmen. The issue is in regards to not having access outside. After 8:30 AM, all doors leading outside are to be locked. This means students or visitors must be buzzed in at the front entrance after 8:30 until the end of the day. This will make it more difficult for students to smoke, visit their car, or leave school grounds in the duration of their school day. This system will also protect the school from undesirable visitors.
Many students do not agree with the actions implemented. There is a wide range of concerns amongst students, especially upperclassmen who drive to school. It is quite easy for students to leave certain items in their car that are essential in a student’s day, more so when they are running late. “We cannot have access to essentials if we forget them in our cars and it is very difficult to get through our day without them,” Katharine DiPalma (’09) explains. For some students, there is a major health concern that if students are not allowed outside anymore, students will begin smoking in the bathrooms again. This places most students’ health in danger. “I’m concerned about students smoking in the bathroom, especially since it’s already began. It’s placing non-smokers’ health in danger and is inconvenient for students who have to use the bathroom because when they leave the bathroom, they smell like smoke. The smokers should be allowed to go outside so our health is not at stake,” AJ Bishop (’09) expressed when asked about concerns of the new security measure. Some students simply feel that the upperclassmen should be given a chance to show how responsible they are with their free periods. Anna Milne (’10) told surveyer when asked, “I just like to go outside and enjoy my lunch when the weather is really nice I hate being inside all day. It’s a shame that a few students ruined it for the majority of responsible students.”
The new security measures were put into place, because Mr. Panagoulias, Branford High School’s principal, said over this summer (2008) the administrators along with the board of education met and discussed weither Branford had an open or closed campus. As the meetings went progressed they decided to place Branford in the middle so it wouldn’t be a completely closed campus, but limited certain freedoms of having an open campus due to security issues, such as uninvited members entering the building. Mr. Panagoulias also mention that the Board of Education reinforced the rules and regulations that must be followed “By all means, no smoking on school grounds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week” was one of them. This prohibits students, staff, and adults from smoking on school grounds.