As of September 2019, approximately 321 people have died in a mass shooting in the United States, last year 373.
Mass shootings are becoming an escalating problem and some of them take place at schools across the nation, over the summer Benson has implemented measures to prevent this from occurring.
“We went through what we call Mandt training which is just another form of training for a big fight or a mass shooting,” security guard Jonathan King said. “We got more training for [shootings] over the summer.”
Last year there were some security concerns regarding the South doors which did not lock and a lack of security cameras in areas where someone could intrude and potentially cause a safety issue. That has been resolved at this point.
“What we’ve done is we’ve locked them all down, so that means that now when you go out those south doors, they automatically lock,” King said. “We [also] added six more cameras over the summer which gives us more safety and security on some of the blind spots where someone could pop-up and get in before.”
Throughout the school day security officers at Benson High School, are constantly monitoring the school and ensuring that the school is not at risk of any threats.
“We monitor the computers during the school day at all times, someone is always watching them,” King said. “We keep a guard in each floor at all times during the day which monitors the doors, and no one can get in the school, to get in the school you have an ID badge.”
Active shooter drills are not currently in place but according to King it has been discussed since it would be beneficial to be prepared in that kind of scenario.
“Hopefully in the future we definitely have mass shooting training classes in school to be prepared for those types of situations [but] it has to be approved by OPS,” King said. “It has been something in the talks, but nothing has been done yet.”
King recommended that students can increase the security of Benson is by wearing their IDs.
Only people who are supposed to be in the building have IDs, they can use this to distinguish between students and possible intruders.
“Wearing the ID badge that we provide free of charge would be a definite thing for students to try to do, they help us out when it comes to safety,” King said. “I would recommend students to wear their ID badges visibly because that identifies that they are supposed to be in the school or if someone asks you for your ID badge you should have it ready to show us for verification.”