TSA-Like Nightmare Comes to NAHS


Welcome back: The security line to enter NAHS winds down the street as students wait to get their backpack checked.

Picture this: It’s early in the morning and you’re running late. You swiftly park your car, grab your bag, and sprint down the stairs, hoping to quickly make it through security, only to turn the corner and run into a huge line of people spilling out of the front door. You might imagine you’re trying to catch a plane to some exotic destination, but you’re actually at North Atlanta High School and you’re late to first period!

In the wake of increased school shootings in the United States, many schools, such as North Atlanta, have implemented new security measures this school year. In an effort to ensure that no weapons enter the building, each morning students have to go through metal detectors and get their backpacks searched. While most students understand the necessity of such security checks, there are also some complaints from students about how long the security process takes and the inconveniences it causes. Many students arrive early to school but are still victims of the long line that forms outside the front door of the school. “I’m always late to first period because I have to fight through the line,” said junior Jonas Shen. “Add that to the time it takes for the elevator to show up and I’m lucky to be in class by 9’oclock!”

Not only do incoming freshmen have to conquer the security line early in the morning like the rest of the students, but they also have to find their way through the maze that is the eleven stories of NAHS. Many freshmen are still getting used to navigating the huge campus, with some voicing that the bag checks take up most, if not all, of their classroom-finding time in the morning. Many students believe that the security system has the right intentions, but question how effective it truly is. “I think (and hope) that as the year progresses it will become a lot more efficient,” said freshman Maggie Hunter. “Hopefully by that time I’ll be able to find all of my classes!”

In addition to metal detectors and bag checks, administrators have also encouraged the idea of bringing clear or mesh bags to school, suggesting that they may become mandated for all students later in the school year. Senior Sia Nair appreciates the security measures being taken, considering the high, and continuously increasing, school shooting rate, but thinks there are better ways to ensure school safety than clear bags. “I definitely don’t want clear backpacks,” said Nair. “Who wants to be walking around school showcasing everything they own?” 

At the end of the day, most NAHS students can agree on one thing – the bag checks have good intentions. Even though the new system takes some time to adjust to, many students are grateful for the security measures being put in place to help our school become safer. New things take time, but students are hopeful that the delay will lessen as the year progresses, and the school is hopeful that they will see a decrease in the number of first-period tardies!