TAKE A LOOK. A map of the school points out all main entrances to the public. photo illustration Tyler Rispoli

After three lockdowns from January to March of 2017, a car driving onto campus in spring of 2016 and surrounding bomb threats, Principal Dusty Johns, alongside Orange County Public Schools, called for a security update.

“I feel we certainly know where there is room for improvement and we are working closely with district leadership to fulfill a plan to enclose our campus in the coming months,” Johns said.

In summer of 2017, Boone will receive capital renewal money for campus renovations. These renovations will include: new roofing, ceilings, air conditioning units, exterior paint, windows, doors and locks. While not in the original plan, Johns pushed for a portion of the funds to supply updated fencing, gates and surveillance cameras.

What I do find comfort in is that we know where the gaps are so we know we have to have adult supervision to compensate for those key areas,” Johns said.

Around the perimeter, four entrances points are accessible to the public. One at the back gate of the junior lot, one at the parking lot entrance gate, one at the main office and one at the theatre parking lot.

“I think admin is strict in all the wrong places, we are enforcing headphones and a dress code policies daily, but ignoring patrolling the many entrances around campus,” senior Gavin Capenos said.

In spring of 2016, a mentally ill man drove onto campus through the gate at the south end of the school. He proceeded to get stuck and pinned his car between a snack machine and pole outside the gym. Since then, OCPS didn’t make any immediate physical security changes because of funding. At this time OCPS would not comment on the situation, citing security reasons.

This incident could’ve been avoided with a gate system that did not allow students to enter without being identified and granted access. We are looking to install something like this within the project coming up,” Johns said. 

After OCPS did not add a gate to enclose this entrance, Johns sparked dialogue with OCPS security personnel and prepared a resolution. Johns keeps parents informed of lockdowns and security threats as they happen.

“I think we are on the right track. I think we are getting to the point in which my ‘robo-calls’ are no longer causing panic and parents understand that I’m going to be transparent and consistent with safety measures.  I want my voice to bring a sense of calm and assurance that we are putting safety first and erring on the side of caution,” Johns said.

Improvements are scheduled for the summer of 2017.

By Tyler Rispoli

I am a senior at Boone and serve boonepubs as the Digital Media Editor. I enjoy photography, videography and graphic design!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *