The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

“This should’ve been prevented”

Students express concern about security measures, virtual instruction
Marin Hunter
In a 3:15 p.m. email to parents, Principal Eric Juli stated that students will not be allowed to enter the building without an ID badge. File photo.

Some students are disappointed in the decision to hold school remotely Friday and skeptical of the district’s effort to revise security measures. 

“While it will be nice to have a chance to sleep in a bit more, it’s stopping [my classes] from staying on schedule,” junior Eliza Mays said. “For my physics class, I need to be in person to learn and have my questions answered because it is a rigorous course.”

Junior Aniya Evans complained about the timing of the virtual learning day. “I am extremely upset about the virtual day because it is the last day of the quarter, and me as well as my peers cannot turn in physical assignments or finish our paper tests,” she said.

Senior Henry York supports the district’s decision to make Friday a virtual learning day. “I think it’s the right decision. I don’t think I’d feel unsafe going to school tomorrow, but I think the school needs to make changes to prevent this from happening again, and that takes time,” York said.

Tuesday, the building was placed in stay-put status during Crew due to rumors that an intruder was in the building.  Police searched the building and found no unauthorized occupants. Thursday, two trespassers were arrested at the high school for starting a physical altercation with students in the senior lounge.

I haven’t felt safe at school for the past few weeks, especially with all of the fights going on.”

— Junior David Hudson

“Random kids should not be able to walk around school like that!” Evans said. 

Junior Amber Perkins said that the persistent fighting has made the word “unsafe” the new normal. “If I were to go to school [tomorrow], I wouldn’t feel unsafe, because I think we forgot what safe feels like,” Perkins said.

“I haven’t felt safe at school for the past few weeks, especially with all of the fights going on,” junior David Hudson said. “It’s very embarrassing that it’s gotten this far without precautions being put into action.”

“I don’t necessarily feel unsafe, but I am always alert,” senior Larae Alexander said.

Dr. David Glasner, the superintendent, announced tomorrow’s remote status to students and families in a 6:16 p.m. email message. “District administrators are working with security personnel and the Shaker Heights Police Department to review all safety and security protocols at Shaker Heights High School and will have more information to share with families and staff prior to the return of students on Wednesday, January 17,” he stated. 

In a 3:15 p.m. email to parents, Juli stated that students must display ID badges at all times. “Students will not be allowed to enter the building without an ID badge. If a student is found without a badge during the school day, they will be removed from the building,” he stated.

Although no weapons were involved, this week’s events and the state of security at the high school led Alexander to wonder whether another weapon could be brought into the building. “Honestly we do need metal detectors,” Alexander said. “I know nobody wants to have their stuff checked or have to go through metal detectors, but since people can’t seem to not bring weapons to school and fight, this is where we are at.”

Junior Chloe Harper said that new security measures won’t change things. “Having IDs is something that students are already supposed to do, but nobody does it,” she said. “This should’ve been prevented.”

“I used to be the first person to say, ‘I’m not wearing my ID,’ but after the events this week, I’ll start the ID-wearing trend,” senior Cassidy Lownes said. “It seems more necessary than ever now.” 

Shakerite Staff contributed reporting.

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  • Jefferson Jones | Jan 13, 2024 at 10:32 am

    There is plenty of blame to go around… parents, residents, administration, politicians, business – everyone has a seat with their name on it. It is important to assess ALL the factors which led to the incident(s) in order to map and execute a direction of solutions (plural emphasize) because there is no single solution to the current challenges facing us…and you think it’s bad now, wait until the ramifications of an unrestrained AI tsunami hit.

    Truth is the arc of human evolution has been moving in a direction where our out-of-control strengths are the greatest threat to our existence as a species.

    These words may sound esoterical and light-years removed from a solution to the drama surrounding and attacking our children (who are merely the metaphorical canaries in the coal mine), but if you can remove yourself from the narrow cultural and information bubble you’re living in, you will see how broad, deep, and ubiquitous the problem is.

    If you think taking your kid out of one school and putting them into a “good”, “safe”, “private” school is the answer, you are truly missing the size of the problem.

    You can’t hide from it…

    You can’t protect your children from it…

    The problem is like water (which is unfair to the water), it will find the pinhole and leak in or it will find the weakest spot and break through.

    One can’t defend from it… you have to take it on head-on and stay vigilant because it (the problem) can’t ever be destroyed.

    And what is this problem?

    It is the fallacious belief that we as homo sapien sapien, individually and collectively, have the means and justification to dominate/control and separate from Nature’s processes.

    Again, esoteric. Why? Because it sounds so…”Age of Aquarius”?

    I dare you to really look at the underlying causes of Man’s trajectory towards our own extinction. Eventually, it distills into our over-blown sense of Exceptionalism…not intra-species, but inter-species.

    Big words, lofty concepts. You can simplify the words/concepts and yet the problem and the solution remain the same.

    Here’s a fundamental, but not simple guide to finding the solutions, whether they be fights at school or destructive behavior elsewhere:

    The more you remove the “Nature” from the individual and collective human evolution, the more the human container which houses the physical (and not so physical) elements of us, becomes more of a vacuum cleaner than a divine being.

    And for those who keep blaming parents for their kids actions and behaviors – healthy, considerate, and productive children have ALWAYS been raised by a healthy, considerate, and productive village. Stop blaming the parent, they are only the conductor of the car. The community (whether big or small) is the tracks.

    You want to reduce the drama going on, then balance the coding, computers, robotics, and other high-level technology with camping, fishing, farming, and the arts.

    You may notice I left out sports. It is intentional. As much as I love sports, they are themselves creating another huge problem for our youth’s positive development – but that is a whole ‘notha conversation.

    So yes, in the short-term, beef up security and surveillance, but the medium- and long-term solutions are much, much simpler.

    And by the way, this solution doesn’t really work unless it is implemented in the districts (or at least school buildings) on the periphery of Shaker schools. Yup, that’s the real issue, isn’t it. Thinking outside of your own house and reaching out to your neighbors.