New Security Initiative has begun


Bayley Brill

All students who arrive to school after 7:30 a.m. must report to the front lobby, as all over doors will be locked.

Students may have noticed that the jock lobby doors are no longer open during the day and have big signs saying “report to the front office”, posted on all of the jock lobby doors. This is all a part of the new Door Entry Control System that has been in effect as of today

The Door Entry Control System is much like the ones used at the elementary and middle schools in FCPS.

“FCPS has installed a Door Entry Control System at Annandale High School to create a safer and more secure environment at Annandale High School for our students and staff,” principal Vincent Randazzo said in an email to parents.

The buzzers have been installed at the main entrance, as well as in jock lobby. The doors will remain unlocked until 7:30 a.m., after which, the doors will remain locked during the remainder of the day. The school will have both teachers and administrators monitoring the doors during class changes in order to prevent students from skipping.

The core reason for the new Door Entry Control System is to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering the school. In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy that took place last year, FCPS begun the process of adding security systems to all FCPS high schools, as both elementary and middle schools already have such technology put in place.

“The county started talking about this [the security system] last year after Sandy Hook,” Safety and Security Specialist Chris Tippins said.

With the installation of the Door Entry Control System, students will now have to use a buzzer next to the doors to gain entry into the school. If they leave the campus, they will have to buzz in to gain access to the school and then report to the attendance office to sign back in. The buzzers are equipped with both video and audio, allowing the front office to both speak with and see whoever is trying to come into the school.

“It will be a lot like a Secure the Building. Students will be able to move freely but all doors will be locked. We still have to work out a few problems with the modular, but that is essentially how it would work,“ Tippins said.

Historically, Secure the Building has been used when there was a robbery or other crime that took place in the neighborhood and the school locked all of its doors as a precaution. But now, every school day will essentially be a Secure the Building.

Students understand the need for this technology, which has been in place for almost a decade at some elementary schools.

“It’s gonna take some getting used to, but I think we’ll be fine,” senior Lewis Folli said.

Some students are not excited about this new system because of the added hassle it will create students.

“It’s just annoying because everyone uses jock lobby, so it would easier to have at least one door unlocked,” sophomore Anya Montes de Oca said.

But other students are looking forward to finally bringing the technology to AHS.

“I think it’s about time we got the system because my elementary school had this technology [when I went there],” Folli said.

In addition to these changes, the handicap entrance located next to entrance 2, where the stairs to the upstairs gym are, has been moved the the front entrance.

“The handicap entrance is in a dead hallway, which I will still continue to lock, so it makes more sense to have it in an open hallway where people can see who’s coming and going,” Tippins said.