The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

Providing support priority for BPS

Annually, Bellevue East High School collaborates with both Bellevue Police Department and occasionally outside organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a thorough and in-depth inspection of the school building for any flaws and potential threats.

Originally, the plan to conduct annual inspections was adopted on August 2nd, 2004 in the Board Policies and Administrative Regulations for Bellevue Public Schools. It was later reviewed in May of 2017, and states that the Board of Education requires the Superintendent of the district to create and put in action a policy for the inspections, alongside ones that are conducted by other authorized agencies. They are meant to inspect the equipment, facilities, and grounds in general. 

“Yearly, Bellevue Police Department does a safety and security inspection and walkthrough. Our SRO actually does it for us, and we have a pretty lengthy document that we go through. Every once in a while we have an outsider come in, like the Department of Homeland Security came in one year and did a security check for us too to make sure that we’re not missing anything that could leave us vulnerable to any issue,” Assistant Principal Nathaniel Bacon said.

Bellevue East passed the most recent inspection done for the current school year. They can be conducted near the end of the year prior, over the summer, or beginning of the following year.

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“So, if you don’t pass, then you have to fix all those things; but we’ve passed everything, so we have everything in place,” Bacon said.

Should the need for emergency assistance ever arise, the school administrators, Student Resource Officer (SRO), and the Bellevue Police Department are all linked on a mobile app. If an emergency (accidental or legitimate) or drill takes place, all of the contacts are notified.

“Through our Crisis Go app, the district admin are linked in with our school, so they get every alert for every building that goes out, and then there’s also a way to chat within that app. And then our SRO and the head of SRO’s at the police department are also in Crisis Go, so they would see if we go on a lockdown. They would see that it’s there and would respond immediately, even if it’s an accidental one, they would be here and in full force,” Bacon said.

Senior Matthew Anderson feels pretty safe in the building, with the exception of doors not being locked fully. Anderson said that he feels safe during the drills and protocols that are practiced.

“I mean, sometimes the doors are left unlocked, and I feel like they probably shouldn’t be, but that’s about it. I feel like it’s good to practice those just in case we really do need to do a lockdown or fire drill,” Anderson said.

To prevent doors being left unlocked, custodians, deans, and admins all do multiple walk-throughs of the building throughout the day to check for any open exits that could potentially pose a threat.

“We added that safety vestibule up in the front a couple years ago, so now it’s a two buzzer entry so people don’t have to enter our building unless they really need to. In the past, there’s been some middle schoolers that have come up here and so we’ve stopped them and got them out of the building and called the school they’re supposed to be in, and then consequences were assigned at that point,” Bacon said. “All of us know certain groups of kids, so if they’re kind of out of the norm or not acting the way most of our kids would act, then we’re going to stop them and get them to the office and start asking those questions.”

According to 905.01 from the Board Policies and Administrative Regulations for the district, any student who intentionally brings or uses a firearm on school grounds in any sort of vehicle transportation will be expelled from school for more than one year. The district follows the definition of a firearm from 18 U.S.C. 921, which is any weapon that is made to or can be easily converted to eject something; objects like frames, silencers, or destructive devices in general are also prohibited.

“My job is to investigate those threats,” School Resource Officer Jonathan Hobbs said. “Deal with the person that made the threat and then continue to follow up with that person that may have made that threat. Or, someone that’s showing behaviors of threats in our student population. We really get a good investigation. Number one, see if the threat is credible. If it’s not credible, make that known, ‘Hey, this is not a credible threat, everything’s okay,’ but if it is credible, then reduce those threats,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs determines how a threat is credible by considering the following; if they have the means to it, and if they have real intentions.

Hobbs, alongside deans and other administration, meet daily. They discuss what’s going on within the building, and if there is anything that should be considered to be a concern. 

“Anything I know, they know, we just collaborate with each other. I talk to our admin in passing, we just keep them informed on what events that I know and things that I feel like they need to know as far as security,” Hobbs said.

School administration put in place rules to protect students and staff. Anyone caught breaking those rules face serious consequences. 

“Everybody deserves to be able to learn. I will tell you that there are plans in place to ensure the safety and security of our students. I am asking you to trust me on that one,” Hobbs said.

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About the Contributor
Brianna Yang, Features and Co-web Editor
Hi! I’m Brianna, I’m the features and one of the web editors for the Tom Tom! I’m an avid Kung Fu Panda fan (possibly minorly obsessive), and I love playing badminton, hiking, and playing guitar. I prefer the acoustic guitar 100%.

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