Roseburg School District makes safety a top priority, but it comes at a price


A new high security gate is one of the few safety upgrades that Roseburg School District could implement after the failure of last year’s bond measure.

Locks, lights, out of sight.

— i love u guys Foundation Standard Response Protocol

Most students at schools around the district are used to hearing the phrase “locks, lights, out of sight” being spoken across the intercoms on their campus. Although by themselves these directions seem wise, there is a major difference between agreeing with the rules versus implementing them. Depending on the classroom, these rules may be difficult to follow because of large class sizes or unsafe building designs. Speaking from personal experience, I have noticed that in my own classes during lock down drills, there is not enough space to stay out of sight from open doors or windows. The question now becomes, are schools prioritizing school safety in the ways that they should be? Who should be held accountable for unsafe school conditions? 

After talking with Mr. Cordon, our school district’s superintendent, I learned more about the safety measures that will soon be implemented into our local schools. According to Mr. Cordon, one of the biggest safety measures that school’s are striving to meet is to ensure that there is only one point of entry into each school. Higher fencing with slats that prevent people from being able to climb them is one of the features that can help meet this safety goal. At Roseburg High School, it is likely that students will soon be entering through a separate set of doors where they have to be buzzed into the school by a staff member. 

Mr. Cordon is empathetic towards those who may feel unsafe, and he stated, “We don’t do our best learning if we are worried about who might be here.” 

When entering each building, there will be new Raptor systems in place. A Raptor system is where visitors who come onto our campus must scan their driver’s license, which will run a background check primarily focused on sexual assault crimes. Then, a paper badge will be printed for the visitor that includes their picture, the time they are at the school, and the reason they are at the school. This is in order to provide a way for students and teachers to know if someone should be on campus. 

Aside from those new measures, the district has adopted safety drill protocols by partnering with the “I Love You Guys” Foundation. For lockdown drills in particular, the goal is to eventually have buttons installed in the main offices at schools that will be able to automatically lock the doors in the event of a potential threat on campus. 

Our school district currently has three safety officers and one student resource officer to help keep our schools safer. Mr. Cordon communicated how he feels about school safety as a whole. He expressed that regardless of the debate around the causes of school safety issues, it is important that schools address the current concerns surrounding safety.

Mr. Cordon also voiced that “We shouldn’t have to tell people why the safety of kids is important.” 

The main message that Mr. Cordon is trying to convey is that we need the community’s help financially to ensure the safety of our kids. After the failure of last year’s bond measure, the school district will give voters a chance to approve a new bond at a lower cost than the one voted down last year. Ballot go out in May of 2023, and if that bond passes, then hopefully the school district will be more likely to meet their goals to protect the safety of students and staff. 

When asking a student on campus, Emmett Kalar, if he feels safe at school, his response was, “A decent amount.” Some things he says make him feel unsafe are the hallways and bathrooms. He states, “The hallways, the hallways are kind of, well you never know what’s going to happen.” He said that lockdown and other safety drills like earthquake and fire drills don’t make him feel any safer, despite their intended purpose.