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Westside Implements New Door Magnets

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Westside Implements New Door Magnets

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Monday, Feb. 18, Assistant Principal Aaron Bradenkamp sent an email to WHS staff saying that “No-Latch Door Magnets” would be implemented into Westside’s everyday use. Principal Jay Opperman said he feels that the door magnets serve an important purpose.

“Over the past few years as an administrative team, we’ve just been trying to find things that we think would make the building more secure,” Opperman said.

The door magnets are a simple cover that keeps a door unlocked until removed. According to Opperman, this technology is simple, easy to use, as well as cost effective.

“I think it was less than two dollars per magnet,” Opperman said.

Science Instructor Brenda Zabel said she feels the door magnets are a good addition to the safety and security of students and staff.

“I’m all for anything that can help protect students and staff,” Zabel said. “For [administration] having a fairly inexpensive way to try to give us just one more level of potential security, I [have] got to thank them for looking out for us that way.”

Opperman said that before all the door alarms, security-checked vestibule, and door magnets, the high school was not as secure.

“Before I [came to the high school], I wasn’t even sure if the door was locked,” Opperman said.

With Opperman taking the lead in making sure Westside is safe and secure, he has had the camera system upgraded and desires a more secure vestibule. A vestibule is an area between the two sets of doors in the front entrance.

“We’ve had upgrades to our camera system,” Opperman said. “We’re talking about a more controlled vestibule for the school; that’s not [going to] be a cheap thing but we’re going to keep trying to figure out how that’s going to work out.”

The security additions, such as the door magnets, came as a surprise to students, but are helping students to feel safer in the building.

“It’s alright, it was a shock at first, I wasn’t expecting the door magnets at all,” sophomore Tyler Wetzel said.

Opperman said he appreciates ideas from the Westside community on how to further improve Westside’s safety and encourages staff and students to give feedback about safety.

“One big part of safety is having communication [between] both staff and students [discussing] how we can help each other [and] make sure we’re safe,” Opperman said.

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