School safety procedures and policies around the nation have been recently evaluated regarding routine precautions when facing true emergencies.
Assistant Principal Bobby Parker feels that Roberson is well-prepared for situations regarding situations around campus.
“As far as the way the school handled the fire situation, it was great. We made some adjustments during that time because, during a normal fire drill, we would typically go out toward the back of the building. But people were cooperative, which made it a lot easier to deal with,” Parker said.
Deputy Corey Ray agrees that the situation was handled well.
“We handled the fire well. There was some confusion of where to go. Some parents came to the back of the school because we didn’t have enough time to stop them. It would have been nice to have been able to close the back gate,” Ray said.
For some though, including junior Alli Whitenack, confusion about the fire was difficult to deal with.
“It’s funny because a lot of the teachers thought the fire situation went really well, but I thought it was chaotic. Different teachers told us to do different things which made it confusing,” Whitenack said.
Parker also feels that some improvements could be made around the school to enhance the evacuation during similar situations.
“[The fire] made the school think about a few things to do for the future. We want to make the school as safe as possible, and sometimes that means change,” Parker said. “We are looking at putting everyone at the front of the school during drills and real events instead of in the back where the fire lanes are.”
Parker has considered requiring all students to go to the gym in case of an emergency, but he believes that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits of using the gym.
“It is something we have considered, however, there are concerns with that idea. Getting people into the gym in a timely manner is something that we would need to consider and look at before taking that into effect,” Parker said.
In relation to the access of cars to the school, Ray believes some changes could be helpful.
“There really needs to be a one-way into the school, only entering and exiting through one door. I would like to get a stop-stick in the back of the building where it can rise up and people can use their passes to get in and out,” Ray said.
Ray also believes a one-way in and out system, tracking people who come to school would help the office staff.
“Cameras could be set up to be able to see everyone who comes and goes. Key pads on doors would also be nice to have more doors locked, but I understand it’s a money thing,” Ray said.
According to Ray, locking too many doors around campus could also cause potential problems.
“In reality, the buildings are far apart from one another and separate from the rest of the buildings, so locking all doors can’t happen,” Ray said.
As someone who checks visitors in and out on campus, office secretary Donna Green believes improvements in the school’s overall security is welcomed.
Green feels the number of locked doors should increase and some doors remain unlocked unnecessarily.
“We are one of the few schools in Buncombe County that does not have an automated buzz-in system, [but that] is supposedly in the works.”