Security guards in school improve the learning environment


Credit: Meilie Diaz Ocampo

Campus safety officer DeTonio Mangum speaks to students in the hallway. Mangum views the most important part of his job as understanding student’s lives and situations.

Meilie Diaz and Jessica Torres Martinez

A security guard is just another familiar face to students and without paying much attention, one could easily oversee the importance of security in schools. 

Campus security officers at LN primarily deal with monitoring and protecting students and staff during school hours. The position of a security guard can also vary from enhancing learning to helping a student get through a rough day. 

“He [Mangum] is someone I can go and talk to about anything, so I know he will be willing to listen and try to help,” said senior Marquis Brown.

Even when the importance of their role is overlooked, the school is affected when the presence of security is not around.

According to TopResume, the necessary skills for security guards are good surveillance skills, safety management, and patrolling along with good communication skills to figure out the situation. 

“I have several skills, but the most important would be to be able to build relationships with the kids and be able to talk about anything they need help with,” said Norrix security guard DeTonio Mangum.

Mangum is in charge of the A-wing hallway. He describes the most important part of his job as understanding students’ situations. Mangum hopes to create an atmosphere where students can come talk with him.

“If you have any frustrations or anything like that,  I would rather you come to me, ” Mangum said. “I would rather greet you guys with respect and treat you the way you should be treated.” 

Having security guards that are capable of building relationships with teens helps students feel more secure and provides a better working environment for both groups.

Without security guards in the building, the school would have a hard time running effectively throughout the day. 

“With fewer security guards, it means we have less coverage of the school building,” Assistant Principal Alexander Hill said. “Pertinent spots that need constant supervision are often left unattended. Unserviced areas are a recipe for mischief and poor decision-making.  With more campus safety officers, we are able to cover more of the building and offer a higher level of support for both students and staff,”

The goal is to have 10 regular members of the campus security staff, but right now LN runs with only seven.

Assistant Principal Alexander Hill said, “We are short everywhere, but definitely in campus safety we would like to have more female safety officers.”

As stated by Intrepid Protection, more women in this workforce area is ultimately a good idea that can only benefit the environment. Having more female security staff in the building is important because women tend to be more nurturing. Students would also feel more comfortable simply because of a woman’s “non-intimidating nature.” 

 Over the years it can be seen that Norrix is a better environment for learning when more security staff are present. However, there still are not enough women security staff in the building: right now Norrix has only one.

“I would feel more comfortable if there were women security guards to talk with and have them check up the women’s bathrooms and locker room,” said senior Rayna Sorrentino. 

That means six men and one woman are in charge of monitoring students and keeping an eye on outsiders. It is also required for them to have access to the women’s bathrooms to monitor activity there. 

Hill emphasized that during times when Norrix had around 3-4 campus safety officers, there were more issues in the building.

“There wasn’t much supervision and bodies to make sure things were safe,” said Hill, “so the more that we have engaging students in a positive manner, the better results we get throughout the school day.”