Security Efforts in the District

Kiley Watson, Student Writer

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Pennridge has been experiencing changes in security throughout the district. There has been a controversial topic regarding armed security, and most recently, the implementation of “go-kits bags”. These bags have a multitude of items that are available to each of the classroom’s need in case of a crisis. Every classroom in the district, including elementary, middle, and high schools, received a go-kits bag for emergency uses only.

The contents of the bag include: a basic first aid kit, latex-free gloves, hand sanitizer, water pouches (six-pack, five-year shelf-life), tissue packs, whistle (on lanyard), glow stick (white, 12-hour), clipboard with tablet and pens, scissors, safety vest, paper towel roll, duct tape, and plastic trash bags (25 heavy duty). These items can be used if there is a prolonged lockdown, a power outage, any natural disasters, or any other similar emergency.

“Out of all the items in the bag, the most important ones are water and first aid”, emphasized Dan Branch, security officer at Pennridge. Each item has their own unique use for the classroom’s need. The question is, are there items in the bag that aren’t necessary? Are there key items missing that should be included?

“Even though there are water packets in the bags already, there isn’t enough”, points out Donald Fry, security officer. There is one six-pack of water pouches in the go-kits bag, but that won’t cover the need for water for every student in the classroom. The pouches are meant for students who need to take any medications. However, this bag is new to the entire district. Provisions will be made throughout the usage of them in order to make them the best they can be.

“Teachers have to take the initiative to make it better. In addition to the bag, teachers should include their class roster” adds Dan Branch.

Another concern that arises with the go-kits kit is the cost. Where did Pennridge get the money to support this movement? Just like the other 27 schools in Bucks County, we received a grant that allowed us to order go-kits bags for every single classroom throughout the entire district.

The idea of go-kits bags is not unfamiliar to Bucks County. “In Central Bucks, Bucks County’s largest school district, Nursing Coordinator Mary Anne Canales said the district is acquiring 33 trauma kits to be distributed among its 23 schools as another way to be ready for a possible shooting or other emergency” (theintell.com). Several other school districts, like Pennsbury, Quakertown, Bristol Township, and Centennial have implemented their own unique version of the go-kits bags. They vary in what items are placed in the bags and the number of bags spread throughout the district. Most districts have them placed in certain areas around the school, not necessarily one bag per classroom.

No matter what the bags contain or look like, they have the same underlying purpose: being prepared for any emergency situation. Proactive efforts like the bags provide an extra layer of security for the districts that implement them. Let’s hope that these go-kits backs provide benefits to the classrooms’ use.