GNA CAMPUS- It was recently announced in February that the School Safety and Security Committee established within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency approved over $587,000 in school safety and security grants to school districts across the 14th Senatorial District and the Commonwealth. A total of $362,800 was awarded to six local school districts, including the Crestwood School District, the Hanover Area School District, the Hazleton Area School District, the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, the Wyoming Valley West School District, and the Greater Nanticoke Area School District. State Representatives Gerald Mullery and Eddie Day Pashinski stated that GNA is going to be receiving $40,000 so that they may increase safety measures and implement new technologies to ensure the safety of all of the students who attend the school.
How safe do the students at GNA feel, though? Are any additions even necessary? When asked whether or not she felt physically safe, junior Maria Bonn stated, “Yes, I do feel physically safe with all of the new safety equipment. I do, however, feel that there is nobody to speak to about personal issues.” Sophomore Sarah Vick said that she felt physically safe “for the most part”; similarly, senior Jordan Spencer responded to the question by saying, “There are many different factors at GNA that cause me to feel both safe and unsafe, but I would feel a lot safer if the metal detectors were in use every day.” Senior Kaleigh Hamm also stated, “I feel physically safe at GNA because I have never been subjected to any threat of violence by another student or likewise.”
These students even had an abundance of ideas in regards to spending the new grant. For instance, Maria Bonn commented, “I think that we need more people with whom we can converse, for there are merely two counselors available, and they are occupied most of the time when I go down to the guidance office.” On the other hand, Sarah Vick mentioned using the money to hire another security guard to patrol the halls, a measure which Kaleigh Hamm agrees with, as shown when she said, “Considering the mechanical security already implemented, I believe that the grant should be utilized for more on-site safety precautions, such as a security guard and in-school officers.”
Superintendent Dr. Ronald Grevera plans on addressing the distress of parents and students by using the grant to better the school by creating an environment that is ideal for learning. In regards to this, Dr. Grevera stated, “We have been very successful over the last few years being awarded various safety grants. These grants allowed us to purchase the metal detector units and metal detector wands, upgrade our camera systems, and pay for the salary of our school resource officer and school police officer. I was very happy to learn that we will receive another $40,000 in safe school funding through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency which will allow us to hire a Student Assistance Program Worker through an agency such as Northeast Counseling or Children Service Center. The Student Assistance Worker will help students who have mental health issues and are in need of more in-depth counseling services than the school currently offers.”
By hiring a mental health expert, GNA hopes that those who struggle with personal problems and disorders will go to the guidance office to seek professional assistance so that their psychological issues will not fester in a way that could cause them to become a threat to the safety of other students in the school. It is essential for students to receive aid before events spiral out of control so that serious disasters may be prevented and chaos does not ensue. If a student is behaving strangely and evokes worry from the adults and children at GNA, they can be referred to the counselor who will help them face their problems and give them the support that they desperately need. GNA does not take the safety of its students lightly, and leaders such as Dr. Grevera will allocate funds in a way that will undoubtedly lower the risk of a catastrophe occurring and enable students to achieve their educational goals.