In September, Malibu High School made a sudden change to close the gates leading into the student parking lot. The decision to close the gates was made to ensure better safety on campus, but there is a lot of controversy surrounding the decision since students are worried about how they are going to be able to leave and exit the school when they have free periods and off campus lunch. Gracie Vasquez, one of the on campus security guards stated that, “We don’t have anyone to be watching the gate right now so Mr. Greene and I are here every 15 minutes because of deliveries, buses, and Boys and Girls Club meeting.”
The gates will be locked from 8:15 until 2:45 which is inconvenient for MHS Faculty considering that they now have to put their time into watching the gate instead of watching over the campus. Now there is a need for an additional faculty member in charge of the gate, letting in students and others who must enter through the gate, whether it be for delivery or getting to school late. Many faculty members agree with this proposal for appointing a new security position. “The school has been shorthanded on security for many years… the district has decided to give us help, so a person will be at the gate” said Mr. Greene, head security guard at the school. It is crucial that security be enhanced at Malibu High, but many hold the opinion that security does not need to be near the level of Santa Monica High School, which has had many more security problems than our school. There have never been any major security breaches in recent years at Malibu High, yet it is clear that it would be easy for anyone to get on campus if they wanted to. The added security is a good step; however, with the current personnel on campus, the gate is not working well. This causes the current security guard’s jobs to shift from keeping the campus safe to going back and forth from the gate constantly throughout the school day. Opening the gate will keep campus security from patrolling campus. Going to and from the gate for most of the day is very tedious and frustrating when it was not part of their job for the past years. Once an appropriate amount of personnel are appointed to add security at Malibu, new pieces of security will make the campus a much safer place.
With gates blocking the entrances, any non-student visitors will have to go through the office and get a guest pass, stopping unknown people from just walking on campus. Previously, anyone could have walked up the driveway and gotten onto campus without any security or adults to stop them, but now since the gate is closed during school hours, they must go through the office.
Although controversial, this could be a very positive step towards the safety of our school. Added security could improve the school’s reputation as well as ensure the safety of the students on the campus.