Students see change in security


Jocelyn Ayenew

School Resource Officer Jeffrey Durrant stops by the main office while patrolling campus during lunch.

Making Inglemoor a safe learning environment is the school’s first priority, with a long list of people who work both on campus and elsewhere in the district to ensure this happens.

Every school carries out its security measures a little differently. Our school has people working in and with administration along with school resource officers (SROs) who work on campus daily.

As times have changed, so have different safety issues in school. With more students and technological advances, security isn’t as simple as before.

“All we used to worry about was parking, but as things have changed, we’ve moved into having other duties that are more security related,” campus security supervisor Rick Calhoun said.

Take the vape issue for example. A recent spike in student-use caused Inglemoor to take extra measures for the safety of all the students at school. Inglemoor was the first in the district to implement vape sensors in the bathroom after getting district approval.

The school has also added more cameras this year to cover more areas of the campus. With the added cameras and the addition of vape sensors, the school has seen a small decrease in overall inappropriate activities, according to principal Adam Desautels.

“There has been a decrease in kids complaining about not being able to use the bathrooms,” Calhoun said. Yet, there has not been much of a change in the overall safety issue of vaping, but rather in finding alternate locations, students have adapted to the security measures.

Another big security effort the school makes is having SROs on campus. SROs are not required by the state, but they’re a decision the school board and Northshore School District made and would like to have at each school.

One of the problems with our school’s SROs is that, unlike other high schools that source their officers from their city’s police department, our school has a constant rotation of campus officers. Since Kenmore doesn’t have its own police station, it gets its officers from King County Sheriff’s Department, and Inglemoor has to source different SROs from it and neighboring cities. This makes it hard for the officers to get to know the campus and make connections with the students they protect.

The system of rotating officers on campus “hasn’t been as effective,” said Calhoun. “So right now, I don’t feel like it’s being utilized for all it could be. So, it probably creates a certain amount of anxiety with a lot of kids because then it just feels like you just have a guy with a gun hanging out at school.”

In response to a recent Nordic News poll, 241 students out of 343 said they were either unlikely or very unlikely to contact an SRO when they had an issue.

“[The rotating officers] has made it very difficult to become comfortable with [the officers] and trust them,” said junior Nathan Loutsis. “I’ve been presented with situations where it would be reasonable to report it to [an SRO], but because I did not know who the officer was and had not built that connection or familiarity, I felt that anything else would be a better option.”

For students, the unfamiliarity of SROs has created a disconnect. This has stemmed into a bigger issue, in which many students are now unsure of the role that security plays in how the school is run.

The administration’s plans with security aren’t very transparent said senior Dédé Stewart. “I don’t know a lot about campus security except that they patrol around campus and are here to protect when needed.”

If you have a safety concern and don’t feel comfortable talking to one of the school officials or officers, you can visit the Northshore School District website and use SafeSchools Alert Tip Reporting System to make an anonymous report.