BHS School Security

A school shooting isn’t something you often think about when you are going through your typical morning routine. It is a difficult subject for most people to understand because it’s something that doesn’t often hit close to home, and is not something that’s talked about until it happens.
Since the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012, that claimed the lives of 20 elementary school children and six teachers, there have been nearly 150 acts of gun related violence in schools across the country.
Though some actions have been taken to prohibit people from accessing firearms, gun violence is still extremely prevalent.
About 108,000 people are shot every year in the United States. According to the FBI’s statistics from 2013, there is a murder every 37.0 minutes, and an aggravated assault every 43.5 seconds.
So what does this mean for students here at BHS? Are we safe?
According to dean of students Carl Neely, our school has 64 security cameras inside the building, and about eight more will be installed in the parking lots in the near future. In addition, we have a school resource officer on duty at all times, an additional officer on duty four days out of the week, and other officers covering the remaining area outside the school at all times.
Neely says that most suspicious activity in and outside of the school is reported by students. He explains the best information comes from students and teachers, who make it easier to secure a possible threat inside the building.

“The best way to keep something from happening is vigilance: if you see something, you say something,” Neely says.
With 25 years spent in public education, Neely says that schools are some of the safest environments he has been in.
Neely also says that every week, our school’s administration has a meeting in which security is discussed, and information is gathered in order to maintain safety inside the school. He says it helps significantly to constantly revise and refresh security protocols and keep everyone informed.
In addition, there are also meetings with other schools in the district five times a year to check in and discuss new ways of maintaining security with various programs and security systems. The Bozeman Police go over “tabletop exercises” with administration which consist of a rundown of worst case scenarios and various ways to solve said scenarios.
Ben Morgner, a senior here at BHS, says he is not concerned about a school shooting taking place in Bozeman.
“They would get stopped pretty quick, because people up here would not be down with that,” Morgner said.
Neely believes that we should focus more on the little things to keep our schools safe.
“The key to safety is the small stuff. It’s all the little stuff. The phrase on the nightly news is: ‘if it bleeds it leads.’ Yeah sure that’s what everyone wants to talk about, but the reality of most schools is cleaning up wet floors and other things is what truly keeps people safe more than anything,” Neely said.


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