Every new school year comes with new changes.
The biggest difference for Rider students this year is the school’s entrance policy. In an attempt to create a safer environment, students can only enter the building through two doors, the front and cafeteria.
According to Principal Dr. Cody Blair, this school isn’t built up to the 2019 standard codes of safety, as it was built over 50 years ago. He believes that decreasing the number of entry and re-entry doors will make the building more secure.
As for students, several have voiced their opinions about not being told there would be a new entrance policy. Junior Ngoc Tran believes this new policy is an inconvenience to the students who paid $50 for the parking spots, hoping to get to where they need to be faster. Instead, they have to walk around the school to either one of the two doors.
“I’ve heard a lot of my friends saying that they’re all mad because they bought spots and they weren’t informed about how far they’re going to have to walk,” junior Mindy Lee said.
Tran reveals that he does not believe that the new policy is safer for students and that it’s “just minimizing the damage that would be done in case of an emergency.” Others such as Lee think differently.
“It’s keeping people who aren’t supposed to be in the building out like intruders and it’s a lot safer because no one else is getting in,” Lee said.
Students were able to enter the building through the band and athletic doors one day last week when it was raining.
While students who park in the ag parking lot aren’t affected as much as others, they still have a few inconveniences. Some students like Lee have to walk a long distance in order to eat.
“At lunch, when I go out to a friend’s car in band, sometimes it’s a struggle to go through the front doors and walk a long way. I have to leave earlier,” she said.
On the other hand, teachers previously coming from out-of-state schools such as English teacher Schlonda Phillips expressed that her previous school was more restrictive than Rider currently is.
“When I first got here, it was easy for me to go into the building,” Phillips said. “I am very glad that we have this new change because I feel like it’s a good way to keep our students safe.”
Phillips’ school in Georgia required keycards to enter the building, instead of just walking in through the doors.
“The school I came from had more secure entrances and that’s what I see us moving to,” she said.