Students Return to a Safer School


Mandy Alexander

A photo of the SRO’s office in F Hall

CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL- If you weren’t already aware of the security changes that were elaborated on during the class-wide assemblies, no doubt you will have noticed the enforcement of the new policies.

If for some reason you haven’t noticed these changes, here’s a run-down:
– 8:30 a.m. entry time ONLY at the front, back, and south side (bus area) of the building
– Hallway passes are necessary at all times during class periods
– Only one student per class out at one time
– NO hallway passes during Titan Time
– One adult must be supervising the foyer (lunch drop-off) area during every lunch period
– New School Resource Officer (SRO): Officer Jefferson
– Staff IDs are to be kept on person at all times
– Security sweeps every period to secure exterior doors

This new emphasis on stricter security may seem excessive, but according to Assistant Principal Mrs. Mistry, the crackdown is justified––especially in the wake of recent tragedies such as the school shooting in Uvalde.

“Not only that, that is important, absolutely. But also the fact that every year, we reflect on what we did––and how do we make it [security] better,” Mrs. Mistry explained.

Though students may feel ambivalent about some of the new policies’ restrictions, e.g. being unable to go to the bathroom during Titan Time, these help administration keep track of students leaving or entering the building from the CTE center.

Other less-popular rules, such as the closed campus lunch policy, have been around since before the security changes.

“Yes, many of these policies and procedures that are in place, they’re not new. It’s just that we’re going to enforce them better,” Mrs. Mistry said. “In the beginning, it may seem like interrogation and constant nagging… but as time goes by, it becomes a habit.”

The bottom line is that these policies aren’t unreasonable; they have good reason to be put in place, and exceptions can always be made in specific cases.

However, not all of these changes are policy-related. Centennial has a new SRO, Officer Jefferson.

Chances are that you’ve seen him around school; part of his job is to “make [himself] visible” around campus, whether that be in the rotunda in the mornings, in the cafeteria during lunch, or in the hallways during passing periods.

If you need to find him for anything specific, his office can be found right across from the gyms, but he is rarely idle there.

Officer Jefferson is mainly responsible for law enforcement on the school grounds; though he is a part of the administrative team, his duties are completely separate from the school administrators.

“Admin [enforces] school rules… Technically, that’s not really my responsibility,” he explained. “If a fight breaks out… the admin team’s not supposed to go ‘hands-on’…but I can break it up.”

As an officer from the Frisco Police Department, Officer Jefferson is fully qualified and capable of handling threats to campus security, whether external or internal.

“…When I try to be more visible, it’s not to deter you guys, per se, from doing something bad. It’s more to deter people from outside trying to come in and hurt you guys.”

Basically, unless Texas or federal law is violated, he generally will not intervene in student affairs. Of course, you can still greet him while he is on-duty around campus, as you can with many of the assistant principals.

Regardless of what students’ personal feelings are surrounding the new measures, the reality is that these changes help CHS maintain a safer and more secure campus.