Lassen High School board discusses campus safety
Witnesses say during the LHS homecoming game and dance on Friday, Sept. 22, the prescription drug methadone was passed around and 20 to 25 students admitted taking it.
Mentioning the homecoming game, President Hal Meadows asked what mechanisms are in place in regards to the presence of alcohol and drugs.
In addition, citing the recent string of school violence throughout the country including the recent shootings at an Amish school in Pennsylvania, he asked about the security and safety procedures on campus.
Football game safety
Assistant Principal Donna Talley explained the teachers sign up to supervise the games and are assigned certain posts throughout the stadium. In addition, the administrative team is present along with Susanville city police officers.
The problem with that night was not an alcohol-related problem.” Talley said. “Installing a breathalyzer would have done us no good.”
She said the students were also displaying teenage behavior.
“On any given Friday night, they’re loopy,” said Talley. “They’re happy that it’s Friday, that it’s homecoming, that we’re winning. That Friday night didn’t look any different than any other Friday nights.”
During the dance, security and supervision were provided and Talley said either she or Assistant Principal Carol Glenzer were standing at the door.
“The problem was it (methadone) was not something that we’re familiar with like alcohol or marijuana.”
Talley said usually she can detect some substances by smell, but the drug on homecoming night came from a medicine cabinet.
“I’m not a doctor and without doing a blood test, I couldn’t tell you what they were on … or that they were on anything other than they were happy it was Friday,” she said.
Superintendent Dan Lewis said if someone approaches the ticket booth smelling of alcohol, there are two-way radios people can use to communicate and he said tobacco use in the stadium has been eliminated.
During the school day, a police officer is present on campus, unless he has to respond to another call, said Glenzer.
“Our contract is for a third of their time,” she said.
She added there’s no pattern to when the police are going to be on campus which is just as good as the officer being there all the time.
With no pattern, Glenzer said, if someone were watching the campus, they wouldn’t be able to say, “Oh its Monday, the police are never here.”
The importance of visitors signing in at the front desk was also discussed.
Glenzer said if someone comes on campus asking for a specific person, any adult knows to refer the visitor to the main office.
She also added with LHS being an open campus she is horrified of what could happen.
“Our campus is so open, I worry about that. Could something happen? Absolutely,” Glenzer said.
Meadows said there had been discussions regarding closing the campus and now would be a good time, but Board Member Karen Bradbury said a fence would have to be constructed around the campus and Lewis said a fence wouldn’t keep people out.
Glenzer suggested now would be a good time to do a lockdown drill in addition to the two mandatory fire drills.
Talley said the high school is working on having a drill involving multiple agencies including the Susanville Fire Department, the Susanville City Police Department and possibly the Lassen County Sheriff’s office.
Lewis said LHS is also working with the agencies for evacuation plans
During a lockdown drill, Lewis said the doors on the campus are locked and all the blinds in the classrooms are drawn and the police department and fire department come onto the campus.
The teachers would then be given an all clear, letting them know its safe to unlock the doors.
Talley said the event would have to be highly publicized to let the public know it was not real.
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