On May 6, 2021, two students and one staff member were wounded in a school shooting at Rigby Middle School. The attack on the school just ten miles from Bonneville High School put many people on edge and is one of the factors for the new security measures at BHS this year.
In a newsletter from September 22, 2022, the BHS principals detailed the new changes. The staff is still trained to move, secure, and defend their classrooms and students. A new set of controlled access doors were installed near the office, which require a secretary to unlock them to let anyone into the school. According to the newsletter, “These doors will funnel all visitors to the main office in order to gain access to the building.” This is done by locking the majority of the outside doors before, after, and during school hours, making the new doors the only entrance. A security film was installed over the exterior glass doors and windows that, according to the newsletter, “will make accessing the building by breaking windows almost impossible, even with a firearm.” Additionally, BHS administration is not allowing students to use the Hive doors as an exit anymore.
Recently, a survey of 80 Bonneville students and staff members revealed how they felt about the new security measures; 28 students voiced complaints about the locked doors. Khalee Burgess, senior at BHS, said, “I understand locking them during class periods but locking them before school is frustrating because I have to park by the AUX gym and it's annoying having to walk clear to the main entrance.” Many students use the parking spaces near the auxiliary gym or the Hive doors either for a zero-hour, band, choir, drama, or just because the rest of the parking spaces are full. Because most of the outside doors are locked, students parked on that side of the building or coming back from lunch, an appointment, or a class at the tech buildings can experience major inconvenience.
Many of the students and staff surveyed had ideas to make the school an even safer place, some more feasible than others. Mr. Harris and Mrs. Wagner, two staff members at Bonneville, suggested adding locking doors to the classrooms with open doorways; however, this is not possible because those classrooms contain emergency exits and legally have to remain open to the hallway. Other changes mentioned included metal detectors at entrances, requiring student IDs to scan to unlock doors, and even using hypothetical AI police hamsters to guard the doors. As senior Samuel Memmott said, “They are small! They are police! They are hamsters! Nobody gets past these little buddies!”
Although these changes may be inconvenient at times, they are for the protection of the students who attend Bonneville High School. Gordon Howard, director of D93 security, stated, “We, as a community, need to be more proactive when it comes to school safety.” The best way to create a safer environment at school is to take safety more seriously.