The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

As winter break approaches, students’ safety concerns heighten

Linus Johnson (12) waits for administrators (left to right)  Ms. Carter and Dr. Knighten to identify the object detected by the Evolv system.
Sarah Won
Linus Johnson (12) waits for administrators (left to right) Ms. Carter and Dr. Knighten to identify the object detected by the Evolv system.

Between rumors and threats during school hours, safety is becoming a priority for administrators to keep for the students. The students reflect on past and current events, regarding a wide range of matters from Hickman principal Mary Grupe’s recent address, metal detectors, and the criticality of administrators. 


On Dec. 7, the student body was notified of the new entrance policy in an email by Grupe due to recent events. It stated that from Dec. 11 to 21, the school will set up metal detectors at the West Entrance. Subsequent to this, on Dec. 8, all first-block teachers were asked to present a video message by Grupe.

Sarah Won



“It felt positive to address the pressing issue of weapons and violence, both within and outside our school,” explained Grupe. “However, acknowledging the inconvenience and fear it might cause some individuals weighed heavily on me.”


On the same day, another email was sent to families within the CPS district by Dr. Yearwood. It stated that “all staff members in our district, including teachers, administrators, and support staff, are trained in emergency response procedures,” as well as more security measures being implemented at Hickman.


The email also stated that “plans also include more lighting in parking lots, additional buzz-in systems, security cameras, installation of protective window film in all our schools, and the installation of hardened exterior doors,” for better security both inside and outside of the building. 


However, not everyone knew about the video Grupe had sent out.


A public poll was posted after school by the Kewpie News Instagram on Dec. 8. The results were shocking, with only 65% of students having seen the video, 12% not having seen the video, and nearly a quarter not aware of the video message to begin with.


Administrators are doing everything they can. 


“We’d like to share information with you regarding an upcoming safety and security demonstration that will take place at Hickman High School,” Grupe said in her email.

Sarah Won


Following the Nashville shooting last April, Students For Change (SFC) led a protest outside the East Entrance. SFC also attended a school board meeting back in April to bring Evolv to Hickman for a day. 


Even those who were not a part of the club participated in this event, including current senior, Isabella Petsel. 


“I was really glad people organized it, and I was able to go and participate and protest against gun violence,” Isabella said.


Although she expressed satisfaction while reflecting, her feelings have recently shifted in terms of school safety. She felt that the administration was not meeting students’ needs in regards to taking threats as a serious issue. 


“I wish they could go seriously when it was last year with the writing on the stall,” Isabella continued. “It felt like she was putting us down instead of listening to us.”


After the school shooting at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and the most recent security incident that involved a senior bringing a firearm onto school grounds, Hickman administration decided to test out the metal detectors. 


This event brought up safety concerns to all school districts across the country, CPS being one. The Evolv systems were brought back for testing for a longer period of time.

Sarah Won


A couple of freshmen spoke openly about their opinions of the school’s safety.


“In my opinion, [I think] that we should be notified [of threats] before anybody because we are in the building with the student that’s holding the weapon,” A’Mya McNeil (9) said.


“I think yeah, [because] we’ve got to know at one point, because we got to know if we’re in the class with that person at the end of the day,” Sincere Coats (9) agreed.


Despite the handful of troubles these freshmen endured their first semester, the two reached the consensus that they ultimately feel safe at school.


“I think [administrators] are doing a pretty good job so far,” A’Mya said.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All Purple and Gold News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • K

    Karli JonesFeb 28, 2024 at 9:59 am

    Evolv’s technology is an AI weapons detection system rather than a metal detector. The protest last year was organized mainly by Elle Davis-Greene, SFC helped but did not plan the event. 🙂