A Student's Response Column: Duluth schools can adopt others' successful security measures

Niya Wilson.jpg
Niya Wilson

As a student at Superior High School, I feel as though there are better ways the Duluth school district can implement new security devices to create heightened safety than what was reported in the Sept 29 story, “Duluth schools to receive security upgrades.”

The story explained what currently is in place as far as security within schools in the Duluth district. Lack of security is a problem, so it is a great thing that the district is taking steps to create a safer environment.

The district received grants to afford upgrades, the story further reported. This, too, is great news both for the district and the city.

Flaws come with regard to the new tools the district plans to use and how it plans to use them within the schools. It seems the new security tools won’t be used to their full potential.

“Visitors to the schools will still be able to come into the front door and enter the vestibule, but go no farther,” the story read. This decision was attributed to the harsh winters in the Northland. I believe this idea is not a good one, though, when it comes to the safety of students. Entrances should not be permitted into the building at all until the staff makes the decision it is safe. If an intruder was to enter the vestibule, the only doors the intruder would have to get through are the ones not connected to the office but instead to the school. If the intruder has the intent to harm, it would be easy enough to break through one set of doors.


If the staff instead buzzed visitors in from the outside, the staff would be able to evaluate if a visitor had a weapon. Say the intruder even decided to try and break through the two sets of doors and skip buzzing in: There would be a lot more time to react.

Buzzers are located outside at Superior High School, and it has worked very well. The time it takes to be buzzed in is minimal, and it creates so much more safety. The phrase “better safe than sorry” is one that applies directly to this.

Methods working at other schools, such as Superior High School, resulting in safety, should be considered by the Duluth district for the safety of its students. This should be of the utmost importance.

I think this question needs to be asked: Is the heightened safety of students worth the tradeoff of visitors having to wait an extra 30 seconds to be buzzed in? The answer should be crystal clear.

Niya Wilson is a senior at Superior High School.She wrote this for the News Tribune.

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