Wilde Lake Tightens Safety Measures in Response to Threat of Gun Violence in Columbia


Bryan Shin

Senior Darae Lyles gets off of her bus to be greeted by Officer Shams

The school shootings that have occurred throughout the United States are incidents that have changed the mindsets of many throughout the entire country. 2018 was a record year for school shooting incidents with 113 killed or injured, according to BBC News. In 2018, schools across the United States underwent profound changes because of these events.

But school shootings are not the only concern. On Thursday, March 28, 2019, Ronald Carolina was shot near the Harper’s Choice Village Center. Right next to the village center is Harper’s Choice Middle School. In 2014, two people were killed in a shooting at the Columbia Mall, just down the road from Wilde Lake High School. These shootings have prompted a change in schools, specifically in Howard County.

Only a few years ago, school lockdowns were seen as insignificant to students, according to junior Jack Hartley. He remembers a sense of safety that students felt when they were in schools. Today, lockdowns are much more serious and have deep implications to the shootings that have happened across the nation. “I remember back in elementary and middle school when we had lockdowns we didn’t even know why we were doing them. Nowadays, when we have a lockdown we never know if there is an active shooter or some other kind of danger in the school building,” said Hartley.

Wilde Lake High School’s principal Rick Wilson outlines some of the security measures that Howard County schools are taking. “We are keeping the building closed until the staff are available to monitor, which is 7:10 AM and students on buses are released at the same time. Between 7:10 a.m and 2:10 p.m, the only way someone can enter the building is by buzzing in the front,” he said.

Everyone that passes through the school doors must be allowed access. Any suspicious individuals will be prevented from entering the building with the new security measures that are in place.

Last year, anyone could enter Wilde Lake through the front doors, but now they have to be approved by the front office before entering.

Junior Nathan Cho, like others, thought the new security measures were annoying. “But I understand that they were implemented to protect us, so I can’t complain.” said Nathan Cho, a junior at Wilde Lake High School.