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Students Divided by New Security Policies

Safety+First%3A+Students+like+Juniors+Anna+Topfl+and+Lamin+Bojang+deal+with+the+new+security+policies+that+have+been+implemented+in+North+Atlanta.+
Safety First: Students like Juniors Anna Topfl and Lamin Bojang deal with the new security policies that have been implemented in North Atlanta.

Safety First: Students like Juniors Anna Topfl and Lamin Bojang deal with the new security policies that have been implemented in North Atlanta.

Olivia Chewning

Olivia Chewning

Safety First: Students like Juniors Anna Topfl and Lamin Bojang deal with the new security policies that have been implemented in North Atlanta.

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Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, the staff at North Atlanta decided to implement updated security policies. Along with new policies, teachers and staff are more strongly enforcing older rules that they have been less strict with in the past. Some students have been less than thrilled about their new NAHS police state.

The security lines that greet students as they enter the school are nothing new. However, since last year, the staff have taken them much more seriously. This has caused the lines to get backed up, often extending far outside of the building. To help with this problem, administrators have gone so far as to recommend investing in “clear or mesh backpacks” to make the process of checking bags faster.

Despite the increased security the bag-check lines, some students think that they havent gone far enough. They believe that minimal effort is being put into checking students’ bags each morning, and that it is not being taken as seriously as it should. Sophomore Alison Christmann-Vener has trouble believing the carelessness she sees in the line every morning. “The teachers going through backpacks are not checking the bags thoroughly enough. They just glance into everyone’s bags and pass them on,” she said.

One of the rules that has been in effect for several years but is now being actually enforced is the “no hats” rule. In previous years, many students did not know the reason as to why they were not allowed to wear hats or hoods in class, but now administrators have stressed the seemingly insignificant rule’s importance. The explanation given is that it will be easier to spot an intruder if they are not wearing a hat or hood. Principal Curtis Douglass has been supportive of this rule because of an experience he had a few years ago. “A unknown man was walking down the hallway with a hood on, and I could tell right away that it wasn’t a student because he didn’t take it off as he passed me,” said Douglass.

Another major change that has been made is how people can enter the school. There are now fewer entrances and exits that people are allowed to use throughout the day. Additionally, individuals arriving late to school are required to go through security upon entering the building.

Despite some negative reactions from students, the staff at North Atlanta seem committed to the safety of the school population. While it is hard to gauge how effective the new security policies are or will be in the future, residents of North Atlanta are hopeful that this year will be our safest yet.

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