OPENGATE

by | Feb 6, 2024 | News, Newspaper 4 | 0 comments

OCPS implemented Opengate, the new metal detection security system, to bring a sense of safety and security onto school premises. Opengate was introduced to the campus on January 18. The system works to provide extra reassurance and protection within school grounds. 

OCPS announced that seven high schools were selected at random to test Opengate’s technology in an active school environment. Wekiva High School was the first to receive Opengate on December 18. Other high schools in the area, such as Lake Nona, Jones, Evans, Timber Creek, and Horizon, will get their programs launched by March. 

While some were concerned about the effects of Opengate on student punctuality, students were given passes after the tardy bell rang, so actions were put into place to ensure students were not marked tardy. 

The technology scans and screens everyone walking onto campus along with their belongings. 

The precautions put into place are to ensure that students on campus are safe from harm. Students should try to help by making sure to follow all guidelines while entering campus. Removing laptops, spiral notebooks, 3-ring binders, any metal containers/water bottles, extra chargers or devices, and umbrellas can help streamline the process. Students should also turn off any music in headphones, and keep backpacks on the center of body to not set off the metal detectors. 

However, the security system will not alarm items such as stainless steel, aluminum, or small electronics.

The technology utilized by Opengate is not new. The same technology is often found in venues, prisons, theme parks, and hospitals. Due to multiple hijacking events, metal detectors have been introduced to airports across the world, preventing future crimes. 

Opengate detects high metal threat objects such as weapons, helping to increase safety on campus by reducing the risk of shootings and dangerous items brought into the school. 

Boone is not the only school that struggles with these conflicts, if these pilot programs prove successful, it will eventually affect other schools and benefit all. 

“I don’t think [this] school specifically needs more security but the stuff that goes on around our community and other schools, it’s definitely a great addition,” Resource Officer Scott Daniels said.

The school had a soft launch on January 18 leaving students frustrated with the lines. However, after Opengate had been open for a longer period of time, the procedure has become more smooth. 

Mills Avenue, PAC, the front office, and the student parking lot will now be the only places of entry to campus. The attendance office has moved locations into the front office, and the school is opening for students to arrive at the brave head at 6:30 am to help prevent tardies. While the all other entrances open at 6:50am. 

While acknowledging these concerns is important, many find that Opengate will be a large improvement to the campus. 

Parents and staff see this as progression towards a safer community. Faculty finds Opengate to be an extra support system ensuring student and staff comfortability.

The increased sense of security also reassures that students will be held accountable for bringing prohibited items on campus. 

Administration has taken a new level of discipline when it comes to contraband found with Opengate. If a student gets alarmed walking through the detectors, they will get a second search. 

If any weapons or illegal substances are found they will be confiscated and administrators will follow code of conduct. All details are outlined in the student code of conduct.  

While the installation process has proved to come with complications, students and staff should be understanding, as everyone is figuring out the most efficient method. 

Author

  • Royal McHenry

    My name is Royal McHenry, I’m a sophomore and a staffer for newspaper. I am in the medical program and I hope to be a trauma surgeon in the future!

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