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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


Wheaton Warrenville South updates safety policy

Nicholas Sadelski
Bathrooms are now supervised by staff at Wheaton Warrenville South.

On Feb. 28 a fight between three students in a bathroom at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, along with a series of other physical altercation between students prompted an update of the existing safety policy.

With the new policy, a dedicated staff member will monitor each of the bathrooms during the school day, with no more than three students allowed in the bathroom at a time. Only one student in a classroom will be issued a hall pass at a time that must be signed by a staff member indicating the destination and the time they have left class. Any student who is found by a staff member without a pass, or in an area that is not assigned on their pass, will be addressed and may be taken to the Dean’s Office.

Director of Community Engagement and Communications, Alyssa Barry clarifies the role staff play a part in dealing with altercations between students.

“Any time a staff member witnesses a fight, they are expected to intervene to stop the alternation. We also have a school resource officer and security team on site at both of our high schools who respond when there is a fight. Additionally, we have staff who are CPI trained to respond during these types of crisis situations,” Barry said.

Being Nonviolent Crisis Prevention and Intervention training (CPI) certified in education means one should be able to recognize the risk level of a situation and apply the most appropriate verbal and/or physical intervention techniques.

WWS Senior, Tomas Moran detailed his feelings on the new system in place.

“It’s definitely a hassle, teachers have to write passes, sometimes they run out of passes, sometimes they forget, then you’re walking down the hallway and a dean asks you if you have a pass and it’s kind of awkward. It’s not a big deal but it’s uncomfortable,” Moran said.

WWS Senior, Nick Graham described his experience with the changes in the bathrooms and hallways.

“I’ve only seen lines four to five people max usually during lunchtime. It’s made myself late once and a couple of my classmates were late, and I’ve been stopped multiple times going to the restroom,” Graham said.

As of now the policy is susceptible to be updated.

“As a District, we are always reviewing the safety and security measures we have in place at our buildings. If at any time our District Safety Committee feels that there are improvements that can be made to keep students, staff and visitors safe while at our schools, we will make the necessary adjustments. The safety and security of students, staff and the entire community is always our top priority and is the basis for every decision we make,” Barry said.

There is a chance that new safety measures may be implemented; however, as of now there is no indication of returning to the former.

“At this time, we don’t have any plans to remove these added safety measures,” Barry said.

There is frustration on the student side with some wishing the school to focus their efforts elsewhere.

“I would say it’s very reactionary and it doesn’t get to the root cause of the problem. I understand why the school is putting it in place but I feel like it’s not really changing anything. I’ve spoken to Principal Campos and she said it has reduced vaping a lot, but in my personal day to day life it hasn’t changed much other than being a nuisance,” Moran said.

WWS empathizes that there are methods in place to prevent any physical altercation before it even occurs.

“Additionally, it is important to note that we utilize a proactive approach with students by supporting their mental health, teaching them about responsible decision making and conflict resolution, and ensuring that all students have a trusted adult in our buildings that they can talk to,” Barry said.

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