Dr. Adell's HHS student advisory discuss safety

Dr. Adell's HHS student advisory discuss safety
Posted on 03/21/2018
super's student group

HPS superintendent’s student advisory discuss safety


Everyone’s mind has been on school safety, not just here in Hickory, but across the nation, according to Dr. Robbie Adell, superintendent of Hickory Public Schools.


Those words opened Adell’s recent meeting with his student advisory committee at Hickory High. “We need to have conversations, not just when these tragic events happen, but continual dialogue so that we are addressing every possible factor in keeping our schools safe,” he said.


“There are some safety factors already in place, from School Resource Officers and safety plans … to state-mandated panic buttons and cameras strategically placed in all of the district’s nine schools,” said Adell. The group also discussed school identification badges, dress code, locked doors, practice drills and even the use of lockers.


“All of these safety measures do not guarantee deterrence in keeping someone from conducting intentional harm,” said Adell. He asked the students for their input on safety factors they believed would improve the school environment.


From there, the HHS students were ready to engage in the dialogue as they reviewed safety factors with continued discussion about building relationships while creating a supportive community of kindness.


“Honestly, what can we do?” asked HHS senior, Savannah King. “People who want to cause harm can always find a way to get around metal detectors. It’s like a hurricane, how do you really stop someone?”


A swarm of ideas surfaced from the students—but every idea seemed to have loopholes or a difference of opinion as the students dug into the details and resolve. The implementation of required clear book bags was mentioned by junior, Bryce Stober—although he shared that idea might not please everyone due to privacy concerns.


Stober added that he believed building relationships would be helpful within the school. “We need to have small student group dialogues with administration, such as this one with the superintendent,” said Stober. “We could exchange, openly, about methods to improve the school environment; not just safety issues, but how to increase communication across the school and developing trust,” he added.


The group discussed the anonymous “student safety” online reporting tool that is posted on the HPS homepage (www.hickoryschools.net). Students, parents, and staff may use this link. Concerns may include, but are not limited to, bullying, abuse, bomb threats, cybercrimes, discrimination, drugs, health concerns, suspicious behavior, vandalism, fighting, and weapons. Helpline information helps Hickory Public Schools to maintain school environments that are safe and conducive for learning.


Dr. Adell’s monthly dialogue with students includes various topics from session to session with the meetings averaging six to twelve students in attendance. The most recent meeting included freshman, Annie Luong;  juniors, Bryce Stober and Sidney Brockenborough; and seniors, Sophie Rice, Savannah King, and Josh Chal.


“There is a future for you out there,” said Adell, addressing the students as he closed the dialogue. “Let’s use Hickory High as a catalyst for creating a bright future. Continue to bring forth your ideas and suggestions as to how we can create the best possible learning environment.”


PHOTO ID (l-r): Bryce Stober, Savannah King, Josh Chal , Annie Luong, Dr. Robbie Adell, Sophie Rice, and Sidney Brockenborough.

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