The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Park eases back to uneasy

Park attempts to make students feel safer during return to normal schedule
Davieon Williams-Charles
An empty Park hallway after students returned to a regular schedule after having block days. Park’s safety has been under control after coming back from the incident on Jan. 18.

The Jan. 18 events at Park brought temporary changes that enhanced the security and altered student activities during the school day. These temporary changes included more increased police and staff presence at Park, hallway escorts instead of hallway passes and an absence of open lunch for seniors. Since then, Park has gone back to its normal rules, and it is questionable whether the temporary implementation of enhanced security has had any effect at Park.

Principal LaNisha Paddock said the changes implemented were meant to act as a hard reset.

“Those were intended to be kind of like a hard reset, so we could recommit,” Paddock said. “(There needed to be) less opportunities for folks to be in the hallway. We feel valuable when we’re trying to just kind of like reset and recommit to our way of being in the school. The important part was (asking), “How do we come together and be able to have conversations about how we share space within the school?”

According to junior Owen Barnett, despite these changes, students feel less safe as they are still afraid of what potentially could happen. He said the events on Jan. 18 exposed a lack of security and striked a fear among students.

“I think it’s been more of a mental thing. I feel like people feel less safe because they’ve seen what can happen from the fight,” Barnett said.

Junior Uche Edward has a different perspective. He said he thinks Park is safer now than it was after the fights because of the increased security and disciplinary measures.

“It’s been more safe,” Edward said. “I mean, three weeks ago we had nine cops here. It’s just been a pretty safe environment. Everything’s just gone back to normal.”

Paddock said there was reteaching involved in school expectations. She said people were retaught how to conduct themselves during school.

“There was some reteaching we talked about, like expectations and how we just conduct ourselves in general in the school,” Paddock said.

According to Barnett, Park’s changes took away the freedoms that the seniors had. He said he is neutral on whether the school’s changes were the right decision or not, but he acknowledges its faults and that a change had to be made.

“Honestly, I’m more neutral on the subject,” Barnett said. “I don’t disagree with it or agree with it because something had to change. I feel like it might have been a little too much for like the seniors taking away all of their freedom.”

Edward said he is going to feel more safe going forward. He said he thinks that because of the measures that the school took, people will make better decisions while at school.

“It’ll be more safe because I know people won’t try some dumb things when you’ve got more cops around and more security,” Edward said.

Paddock said it was necessary to have a gradual release back into the regular school schedule. She said this was to prevent the incident that previously happened while also committing to the expectations that there are for Park.

“A gradual release into what we call a normal (schedule was important), but (there was focus on) just making sure that, as we gradually go back, we are staying consistent with the things that we’ve agreed to and our expectations,” Paddock said. “Committing as adults and students to this (being) what our school should look, sound and feel like and making sure that it happens (was a priority).”

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About the Contributors
Jeremy Eichten
Jeremy Eichten, Echo Staffer
Hi! I am Jeremy Eichten and I am a Junior at SLP. I play Football at SLP and I am in choir. In my free time I like to travel and try new foods. I also like to lift weights and exercise. This is my first year on Echo and I look forward to being a part of it!
Davieon Williams-Charles
Davieon Williams-Charles, Echo Staffer
My name is Davieon Williams-Charles and I am a sophomore. Like football and basketball. I am really excited to join Echo to meet new people and take photos and write great new stories. I like to play sports with friends and play games. I can't wait for this year of Echo.

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