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OHS Revamps Security Measures After Parkland Shooting

Oxford High School has taken new measures to advance security for school safety after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida two weeks ago.

Bradley Roberson, principal of OHS, revisited the school’s safety plan to make sure it was up to standard if such an incident were to happen in the Oxford community.
“The last thing you want to think would be that something like this can happen in Oxford,” Roberson said. “The reality of it is that is what all those other communities are saying, as well.”
OHS continues to have lockdown drills, which are required by the state, along with school security checking doors continuously throughout the day, every day. Now, fewer doors are unlocked at each building as students go from class to class.
“It is inconvenient for students, obviously, because a lot more of those doors are locked, but it is better to be inconvenient than it is to be a safety hazard at this point,” Roberson said.
The high school has also updated its security resource communication system. 
“We had communication before, but we wanted it to be even better,” Roberson said. 
The Mississippi Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation earlier this week which would allow school staff and faculty to carry concealed guns for safety measures on public school campuses.
“I don’t necessarily think that is the answer,” Roberson said. “To me, it is making sure that we do the best that we can to ensure that our young people never get to that state of mind.”
The social and emotional health of young people is more important, Roberson said. “That can go all the way back as simple as a kid sitting alone at lunch,” he said. “There should never be a kid sitting alone.”
Making sure the environment at OHS, along as the other schools in the district, are inclusive is more important to Roberson.
“We want an environment where everyone feels safe, where everyone feels loved, where everyone feels secured,” Roberson said, “and then I think we eliminate a lot of these issues we are having across the country.” 
As students of Douglas High prepare to protest on March 24 in a national march against gun control, Roberson hopes OHS administration, faculty and students learn the importance of uniting with one another in their own community. 
“I have already spoken to our SGA (student government association) sponsor, Ms. Kakky Brown, and I have asked her and our SGA to put something together for our school,” Roberson said. “To me, this is about representing community and that we at Oxford High are a community.”
Standing up and walking out only creates divisiveness, Roberson said. In order to show inclusiveness and community, it must be organized and done as a joint effort among the school.
“I want it to be a joint effort between administration, staff, students, cafeteria workers and custodians,” Roberson said. “That is how you show community.”

By Talbert Toole, associate editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at talbert.toole@hottytoddy.com.

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