As construction continues on the upcoming 1500 building, additions to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s campus have appeared throughout the school. A new fence around the front entrance is being constructed as a way to increase safety on exterior school boundaries.
The fences were donated by the “Make Our Schools Safe” organization, which focuses on school safety improvements all throughout South Florida and nationwide.
“There was an organization that wanted to donate funds for additional safety measures for the school,” Principal Michelle Kefford said. “The fence is just another barrier between the exterior and interior of our campus.”
Safety concerns regarding students and other visitors leaving and entering school campus are one of the main concerns leading to these additions as well.
“I believe it [the fence] is something our school has needed for a while,” sophomore Rozyna McKiernan said. “You can never be too safe.”
Since the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, noticeable implementations of security on campus have been placed. For example, a security booth has been situated at the front entrance of campus where security personnel may check visitors ID’s and ask for the purpose of their visit. The front office has a buzzer placed at the door where visitors and students must show identification to be allowed entry. In addition, metal gates have been placed at every exit and entry point including the senior lot and bus loop to prevent further security risks.
“I feel it [the new fence] marks a certain boundary that will help people,” freshmen Brae Sadler said.
On the other hand, students and faculty alike have expressed their distaste for the new security measure added on campus, stating that the fences may restrict access to those simply trying to make it to class on time.
“I don’t see any reason for the fence,” junior Brandon Rappaport said. “Its only function is to make students walk more and feel more trapped at school.”
Although the fence protects the exterior border of campus, the previously open area is now enclosed and barricaded leading to some negative feedback.
“It restricts access to get on campus,” World History teacher Michael Nastasi said. “It is not as easy to get to the front of the school.”
Profits for these improvements were derived from the first annual “Live For Alyssa” benefit in May 2019, where a portion of the $88,000 raised was used to put towards campus safety at MSD and Westglades Middle School.
“All the money made at “Live for Alyssa” were put towards school safety implements at MSD and other causes,” ‘Make Our Schools Safe’ founder Lori Alhadeff said. “Kefford chose to use the funding on new fences and two additional golf carts were donated as well.”
Over the past couple of years, MSD has continued to accept donated improvements and additions to its campus.