By Elijah Maule
This year at Ponte Vedra High School, there has been an increase in security. Gates that were open last year are being closed. Doors to enter and exit the building are being watched more. Hallways during lunch time are being monitored more too.
The reasons for this increase in security were answered by Steven Sanzo, assistant principal at PVHS. Assistant principal Sanzo stated, “there hasn’t been any events that have happened around here (St. Johns) recently that has made us raise security.” Yet he did say that there are incidents around the country like the Robb Elementary School shooting that happen which makes the staff worry. He said that the amount of exits/entrances there are and propped open doors are the biggest concern for the staff.
Before school started this year, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and staff of PVHS went around the perimeter of the school. They went around the school limiting the amount of entrances and exits there would be for the upcoming year. Assistant Principal Sanzo said, “there are so many ways to enter/exit this school.” He said that the staff and law enforcement narrowed them down to four entrances in the morning and four exits in the afternoon. The entrances in the morning are as follows: the main gate at the front of the school, the parent/bus drop off loop doors, the track gate, and the gate leading out to the senior lot. The exits in the afternoon are the gate to the senior lot, the track gate, the bus loop doors, and the main gate at the front of the school. The bus loop and main gate at the front of the school open at 8:00am and all other entrances will open at 8:30am. One of the biggest things that the staff at PVHS are checking is the 500’s hallway door to the senior lot to make sure it is shut at all times. Assistant Principal Sanzo said that it was their biggest concern last year and this year too. He also stated that they will put up a sign that says to not leave the door propped open.
The security changes made at PVHS have caught the attention of some of the students and teachers. Kale Hutcherson, a junior, stated that he notices the increase in security and said, “It makes me feel a lot safer.” Another student, sophomore Evan Monti stated “I feel a lot more comfortable with the changes.” Mr. Goodenough, a math teacher at PVHS, said that he has noticed more attention to the security on campus and that all teachers have a card that allows access into the building. He also expressed that he feels very secure in the building.
The changes of security at PVHS made by the staff and police aim to increase the safety of the students and teachers. The new policies strive to make the building feel secure and to continue to have a safe and organized school.