Heritage students should have access to all school facilities

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With the addition of the new building finally open for occupancy, so many new facilities were added to the Plantation campus. Numerous new classrooms, another gymnasium, an improved weight room, and multiple basketball courts up on the roof are most of the features included in the new 2500 building added to Heritage. With access to all these new facilities, Heritage upperclassmen 16 and up should be allowed to utilize these additions of the weight room and basketball courts for personal use. 

The school’s policy currently prevents students from using these facilities unless they are with a coach for sports team affiliated use. Safety concerns and lack of supervision stand in the way of changing this rule, as problems regarding an injury, fight, or something else mischievous can all be avoided by just not allowing them for use. 

“The problem is we must have supervision, and who is going to be the one doing it,” Dean Nolle said. “It’s hard enough to have the amount of cops and teachers we have out on campus for lunch supervision. We don’t need to add more eyes out watching campus.”

While definitely concerning, supervision should not be an issue regarding the use of these new amenities to the school. Our school could be the safest in Broward County with the police presence on the premises, clear backpacks and bag check in, and multiple cameras all around campus. With the immense number of cameras covering almost the entire school grounds that entail constant security surveillance, cameras could definitely be added and or watched in places like the new weight room and roof with the basketball courts. With security constantly keeping an eye out on the cameras, the issue of lack of supervision eliminates itself because students could be monitored at all times when using the facility.

Safety and the possibility of a student hurting themself also exists as a concern expressed by the school that currently stops students from using these facilities. “What if something happens and someone gets hurt,” Dean Nolle asked. “This issue lies in that these kids are 16 or 17 years old, not 18.” 

While an injury is something unfortunate and not an occurrence I’d like to see, the long list of benefits from having access to these new school facilities for upperclassmen outweigh the chances of a single student getting injured. Athletes get hurt all the time in training or in competition, and so all of the students who would decide to exercise their new privilege of using the 2500 building facilities would make that decision knowing the possibility of getting injured.

To prevent all the problems that link with someone getting injured, student-parents waivers could be created for anyone with the desire to use the weight room or basketball courts. This would not only guarantee that all parents agree and are aware of their child using the facilities, but also prevent any lawsuits or anger directed toward the school by any family. The waiver would also allow the school to keep track of which students would be allowed to use the amenities and keep the occupancy in the weight room limited and controlled. 

Since the school would know every student intended to use the new school additions, someone could be in charge of making a schedule or sign up form at the beginning of the week, granting time slots to students to prevent clusters of people from happening at any time. 

Another proposed solution that could get the school closer to granting student access to the 2500 building’s new features would be the idea of a teacher volunteer supervision schedule. If a few teachers or coaches could collectively sign up to monitor students in those areas, these after school activities would definitely have more of a guarantee to run smoothly. An additional thought, students who wish to pursue the school allowing access to these facilities could start a club in charge of managing the operations necessary to maintain a safe, organized environment. The club members could make a sign up schedule for students and teacher supervisors, make sure students signed up filled out their waiver, and more.

Also with the use of a waiver and limiting the number of students who can use the facilities to select upperclassmen, few problems would arise in terms of mischief and fighting as every students’ parent and child would be aware of the privilege given to them by allowing them to use the facilities, as well as understand the surveillance on them at all times through the cameras. 

Risks in allowing students to use the new sports equipment exist; however, measures to efficiently decrease the likelihood of any undesired effect can be made and the benefits granted to students from using the facilities would be significant.

Now a returning member on the newspaper staff, Senior Jack Shechtman is the Opinion Section Editor for the print newsmagazine. Outside of writing for the Patriot Post, Jack has been a starter on the varsity lacrosse team since his freshman year, as well as an active fisherman. Jack is in a few clubs outside of the school and plans on going to college to study Business and Real Estate Development.

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