Thursday, September 18, 2014

Some teachers concerned about security at Olympic High

Olympic High School has lost its security guards this year, sparking some concern among teachers about safety at the school.

Every middle and high school in the district is assigned a school resource officer. Schools often are also assigned some of the district's 110 "security associates," who aren't sworn officers but are in charge of protecting the campus.

I asked Randy Hagler, head of the CMS Police Department, about the change in security guard staffing at Olympic. He acknowledged that two security guards had been moved out of Olympic High but said it's because the school already has many more administrators than is normal. Because the high school is technically a community of five schools, it has five principals and five deans of students that can help out if a situation arises.

I've also heard from a few people close to the school who asked not to be named to protect employment. They said the moves have put the responsibility on teachers to handle violence that arises.

Olympic isn't a particularly violent school. Of its five schools, only one of them had a violent crime rate that exceeded the district and state averages. The other four fell significantly below.

But that doesn't mean incidents don't happen.

Earlier this month, a teacher at Olympic sustained a serious injury while breaking up a fight that occurred on campus.

According to police reports, Paul Hamilton was punched in the face while intervening in a mid-day altercation between what appears to be a student and someone who was not enrolled there (the aggressor was charged with trespassing as well as assault). Details on what specifically transpired are scarce in the report.

Hamilton was treated in the emergency room and released.


Anonymous said...

Under the new policy where everyone passes so as to artificially increase graduation cohort rates so that district and school administrators can receive bonuses, another "bonus baby" was implemented by reducing suspension rates. So far I have witnessed five acts (at a HS other than OHS) that used to receive 5 or 10 days suspension but now the students remain in class. Now that Morrison's daughter is graduating from CMS, it is time to maximize the bonus bucks before leaving. When someone gets killed, I hope he thinks it was worth it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Olympic can have the officer from AK who handcuffed an EC student last week. The family has since removed the child from the school.

Wiley Coyote said...

What's the point?

Depending on the student's skin color, nothing may happen to them from a discipline standpoint, as the push today is not to suspend students of color because statistics show they are suspended more than other students.

It's just not polititcally correct to do so plus they must stay in school to not become a statistic in the drop out or non graduation rates.

Anonymous said...

CMS has it's own police department? Does that mean it has its own SWAT team as well?

Isn't it great that we send our kids to school for "proper socialization"?

Anonymous said...

"the school already has many more administrators than is normal. Because the high school is technically a community of five schools, it has five principals and five deans of students..."

I think that's the more pertinent story here.

Anonymous said...

This is typical of CMS in so many ways. First, few administrators are going to get to a "situation" in time to disperse or quell an uprising. Second, teachers are told specifically to avoid intervening yet are harassed by admin for doing this. Despite what is in the CMS Code of Conduct, students video the situation and post it on the social media du jour. Happened to my spouse and SRO was on the other side of the campus. Since even getting a response from the main office is nearly impossible due to their workload, I can imagine the new PR head will post the usual CMS spin in the CMS Insider, nothing. Finding truth in CMS is an elusive task Andrew. Obfuscation rules.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid you've opened the box of CMS stupidity with this post. Virtually every parent that reads this blog can give you an example of CMS student behavior issues ignored, smothered, covered, and hidden. Wiley and I can give plenty from past days at a westside high school that at one time had great assistant principals but were forced out due to age discrimination.

Anonymous said...

I think Randy should take over as the new Superintendent since he believes that there are already to many administrators at Olympic High. Nicely put Randy, I have a feeling you would be able to go into CMS and clean house of all the extra garbage, I mean administrators, find the money to have appropriate security at the school, give teachers a huge raise, make sure there is enough books to teach and provide field trips to the arts.

Chapman said...

As public budgets shrink, and technology enables larger classrooms, decreased teacher input and individualized instruction, schools are justifiably looking toward online models for ways to improve student performance. The criticism of online learning is, however cost-effective, it cannot replace the human element in teaching.
And that is certainly true. Our high school students will be able to stay home in their pajamas and take online courses, just show up for the graduation ceremony! Sounds efficient and effective to me, and no more security needed.

Anonymous said...


I agree with your statement regarding the importance of teachers in our child's education. Dr. Morrison does as well, as he states below.

“Teaching is a human endeavor,” he says, “and while technology can certainly enhance learning, it will never, can never replace a good teacher.”

Dr. Heath Morrison, "My School Rocks, February 21, 2014

Yet, what he says above and what is occurring in our neighborhood "Personalized Learning" school are in direct conflict with each other.

Teachers are no longer even being asked to assign a grade for each students progress. They are using something called "mastery" of material instead.

Anonymous said...

Do you know that more young children know how to use an I-pad but can't tie their shoes, read a clock, ride a bike, swim or do other basic childhood activities? This is all due to the OVERUSE of tech devices at home and at school.

Anonymous said...

A teacher told me that CMS has instituted a policy that no students under 17 will be arrested for fighting. This is a green light to kids under that age and endangers many. Will someone at the Observer inquire?

Anonymous said...

I am certainly concerned about school safety and security for myself as well as all of my students. CMS does a good job in this area.

To piggyback on some of the technology comments, as a high school teacher, texting during class is one of the biggest challenges that I am facing. Unfortunately, I feel that I have very little support from my school’s administration and parents with tackling this issue.

Anonymous said...

10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I'm calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years.

Following are 10 research-based reasons for this ban:

1. Rapid brain growth
2. Delayed Development
3. Epidemic Obesity
4. Sleep Deprivation
5. Mental Illness
6. Aggression
7. Digital dementia
8. Addictions
9. Radiation emission
10. Unsustainable

Anonymous said...

cell phones should not be allowed in class for the very reason mentioned by anon 3:27. Kids will abuse the privilege, just one more thing for a teacher to worry about, not to mention breaking up fights. It's no wonder that who can leave cms do so. Take note Dr. Morrison, your policies are chasing middle class families away in droves.

Anonymous said...

Just fyi, for those who care, CMS and Heath are pushing for full virtual schools at elementary, middle and high school levels. They are being planned for each learning community. This is part of his Stategic plan 2018.

Anonymous said...

9:23 It's called digital distraction running rampant.

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of the current Avalynn case in Pascagoula, MS. A White or possibly mixed race 5yo girl attending Kindergarten appears to have been beat up by a classmate - she stated a classmate repeatedly kicked her in the face causing her to fall off of the playground slide.

This is a black majority school with black staff, etc. The local school board and law enforcement are working overtime trying to coverup the race angle and the incompetent staff angle. It's worth a read.

Anonymous said...

As someone connected to OHS, I'm very concerned that there is not a SRO on campus. Thank you for bringing this to the public's attention.

Anonymous said...

most HS have 4-5 AP positions, and a main principal, as well as deans of students. This invalidates the CMS excuse...

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that virtual schools would only be open to students who are in drop-out danger, or have a medical need (pregnancy, injury, disease)...not for a kid who wants to "stay home in pajamas all day" and really...if you are the parent who allows that then that's probably the problem right there. As to the handcuffing of the "EC" student at's not like EC kids wear a big name tag that identifies them as such, if a kid is acting out and a danger to self or others, then the SRO has to make a judgement call and to be honest, some "EC" kids are BEHAVIORAL EC designees, which means they ARE a danger to self and others due to a behavioral or emotional disorder, but by law, can and do attend schools in the general population. If a parent wants to remove a kid because he/she was handcuffed if the kid was acting out...whatever...the job of the SRO is to ensure the safety of the whole (including that student)...and regular school security don't have cuffs, so that's a police officer you are talking about...As far as Olympic, given the demographic, it probably needs a CMPD SRO...the article doesn't make it clear if the discussion is about SRO or CMS security personnel.

Security Guards said...

He acknowledged that two security guards had been moved out of Olympic High but said it's because the school already has many more administrators than is normal. Because the high school is technically a community of five schools, it has five principals and five deans of students that can help out if a situation arises.