Bag checks bring added security to OHS students

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Magnet Staff

OHS students get their backpacks checked by the main doors

Valentina Contreras, Writer

On Monday, Dec 6, Owatonna High School implemented new security measures to assure the safety of students and staff. One of the biggest changes students have experienced is bag checks. Only two doors are open for students, the main doors and the gym doors, both of these are followed by  tables with assigned staff members that are checking students’ bags. 

Since Dec. 6, the high school has done seven days of bag checks. No bag checks were performed on Wednesday Dec. 15  since they have found no threats or anything concerning the students’ safety. Bag checks heighten levels of security, Principal Mr. Kory Kath said, “ We are aware of students and what they’re bringing in, it allows us to engage one on one with that student, to let them know that safety is paramount and that we want that for them.”  

We are aware of students and what they’re bringing in, it allows us to engage one on one with that student, to let them know that safety is paramount and that we want that for them.”

— Principal Mr. Kory Kath

Some other policies OHS implemented included locked doors, only two entrances available to students, additional supervision and law enforcement presence. OHS still has heightened police presence as well as added security within the hallways. Administration has seen a positive response from students, especially during the first few days. Administration is encouraging students to reach out to an adult immediately if they feel unsafe or threatened in any way, whether it is an administrator, a counselor or a teacher, so that they can not only respond for them but the whole student body. This allows students to have someone to talk to or report something to as soon as they enter the building.

Students have been understanding and some are thankful the school is putting on these procedures. Senior Madi Voracek said, “Sometimes bag checks can be a hassle, and it is hard to fit it into the schedule of a busy morning but also I think it was good that the school did what they needed to do to have protective measures for the students.”  

While everyone is hoping for a sense of normalcy to come back it is important to be cautious and take things slow, which is why OHS still has added security measures.