WRITTEN BY: SAMI ULSTAD
COVER PHOTO COURTESY: WIX
Jackson´s crime rate is 144 percent higher than the Michigan average rate and 104 percent higher than the national rate. The location of Jackson High School reflects almost all problematic situations for the school.
“The school is in a location that is sensitive to the area and I don't think we can control that,” west end greeter Michael Calderon said.
A majority of the lockdowns that take place are due to off-campus activity not related to the school, yet some students are still concerned about their safety at school.
“Sometimes I do not feel safe because of the stuff that happens around the country can happen anytime and no one expects it,” freshman Sheridan Maske said.
Because of Jackson High’s location, lockdowns due to shootings near campus are common. This does not reflect the school itself, though. Even the man caught on campus with meth worries the staff, regardless of the danger to the school at the time.
“I get concerned about obviously gunshots that are close to the school and we had that guy run through the parking lot so that can be a little nerving, but I think we are equipped to handle anything that comes our way,” security guard Kevin Jiles said.
Although events may occur that are out of the school’s control, the staff is confident in handling all situations that come into action.
“We have been through several trainings; it is required and they seem to get better and better,” teacher Janeen Bush said. “The training last spring with our Jackson Police Department was very helpful and beneficial and we had opportunities to ask questions and debrief after.”
Protocols that have been set for Jackson High are working, but some changes may be looked at.
“I am confident in regards to the protocols that we have, but I think we can have some improvement,” principal Anthony Coffie said.
In order to improve anything regarding the protocols, practice makes perfect for students and staff.
“I think we can do more drills with our kids so its meaningful,” Bush said.
Perfecting these drills are not the only plans set for the future improvement for the safety of the school. The recently- passed bond will add multiple security aspects to better the safety of the school.
“The bond is emphasizing safety and security,” Bush said.
Security guards’ jobs will be made easier with improvements the bond will make.
“The bond will help safety a lot with the addition of the front desk, people being buzzed in and out of the school, and the updating of the camera system,” Jiles said.
Jackson High School’s safety and security will only improve from here.