Morgan’s Views On School Safety

Students and Staff Share Their Concerns

SRO+Brian+Corbin

Ryan Inglis

SRO Brian Corbin

Following the school shooting of November 30th, 2021 the entire country was in a state of panic. The shooting took place at The Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan. Four Oxford students were killed by Ethan Crumbly, 15 who was a student at Oxford. The Morgan community is very aware of this tragedy, and immediately following the event, Twelve students shared their thoughts on safety in their own school. Although these students expressed their views, they did not want their names to be revealed. While students focused on safety while a tragedy is occurring, Principal Keri Hagness and Officer Brian Corbin focused on preventing a tragedy by providing a safe environment where people’s connections to one another prevent violence from ever occurring.

Of the twelve students that were interviewed, eight said that they do feel safe and comfortable while attending the school. Four of the twelve said that some of the time they do feel uneasy and unsafe because of the structure of the building, the lack of lockdown drills and other crisis drills. Many feel unsafe because most of the school is made of glass, which is visually appealing, but the windows appear easy to break.

Morgan’s Principal Keri Hagness

Morgan Principal Keri Hagness explained that all the windows around the building are shatterproof. Although shatterproof windows may shatter, the laminated glass is designed to hold glass shards in place to prevent the glass from shattering inwards and an object from passing through.

Students shared what they believed could be done to make the school a safer place. Some suggested bulletproof windows as well as updating the security system. Students are concerned about what students may be hiding in their backpacks, such as potential weapons. One student said they knew of classmates who brought drugs to school and had some concerns about the safety precautions revolving around that issue. Some other students suggested having more safety drills and having the teachers prepare students better for an emergency. When the students were asked about gun control, six out of the eight said that they would feel more comfortable if there was stricter gun control in our state and overall across the country. Two out of the eight said that even if there was stricter gun control, it would not make a difference, because people would still find a way to buy and obtain guns.

Three of the eight students said they did feel that the lockdown drills were helpful. Although, they acknowledged that at the moment they can cause a lot of stress. Four of the students said that the lockdown drills are not efficient and should be more specific for each classroom. One student said, “You never know what class you are going to be in if there is a lockdown, I only know what to do in one of my classes, and the other six I have no idea because our teachers never showed us.” A lot of the students said that they can’t even remember the last time that they actually had a lockdown drill and said if there happened to ever be a real threat, they would be vulnerable because they have no idea how to protect themselves. Most of the students just said that they wished there were more lockdown drills to better keep the students and staff safe.

SRO Brian Corbin, an officer for the Clinton Police Department, is constantly helping the Morgan community. Officer Corbin stressed the importance of the role of community in the safety of The Morgan School. Officer Corbin said that students and parents have the biggest role in protecting our own school by reporting threats or any concerning behaviors to either school administration or law enforcement. He explained that his role is to identify any concerning behaviors and or act on any reported school threats, as well as provide deterrence and the feeling of safety to all students and staff.

Officer Corbin, who is a father himself, mentioned that everyone is entitled to feel safe. He feels that this is even more true in the academic setting. He takes the responsibility of protecting the town’s children very seriously, and he provides the first layer of defense in case of an emergency in the Morgan School.

Students who carry out acts of violence on their school are often students who have mental health issues. Mrs. Hagness believes that the best way to combat crises is by helping all students with their mental health to prevent events like this from happening. Our student support center is there to help students also. Mrs. Hagness stresses the fact that she believes Morgan is a supportive family. Advisory and Wellness Wednesday programs strive to help students feel connected to the community and deal with stress.

Most of the students we spoke with immediately after the tragedy in Oxford feel safe at Morgan. The essential goal of the administration and Officer Corbin is to be as proactive as possible. Report concerning threats or unusual behavior in the school setting to keep students, as well as staff, safe inside the walls of The Morgan School. After a quick survey on January sixth, out of fifteen students in the cafeteria, eight said they felt safe in school while the other seven said they didnt.