Security measures and fire drills

Arianna Westbrooks, Editor-In-Chief

Each school year, students and staff are required to participate in eight mandatory fire drills.
During these drills, students are escorted outside by staff to their location-specific evacuation zone. When faculty and staff get the all-clear, everyone returns to the building through various entrances.
Joe Luckey, the head of security at Joliet West High School, explained the re-entry process. “There’s nothing written on how we do it; we just try to make sure that we do it in a safe way. We try to make sure that all the areas are covered that we can cover.”
With over 3,000 students and staff, it’s difficult to tell students and staff apart from an intruder while re-entering the building during a fire drill. At Joliet West, there are nineteen security guards total, which makes it immensely difficult even with IDs to identify every student re-entering the building.
The lack of specific protocol for reentering the building after a fire drill or following an unexpected fire alarm has raised concerns as mass shootings, many of them at schools, continue to be on the rise.
According to the Sandy Hook Promise website, guns are the leading cause of death among American children and teens. With no identification process in the reentering of the buildings, many questions come into play about West’s safety measures
Luckey addressed this by saying, “Students are like 90 percent of the safety in this school because, for one, they know people. They know the ones that belong here and don’t.. We (security), because we don’t know them all, expect them to notify us.” Overall, students and staff should be aware and if you see something, say something.