Invader danger: trespassers cause concern

The face is familiar, but you can’t quite place it: was it middle school when you last saw him? When did he get to Kerr? A quick glance down reveals no visitor’s pass and no Kerr ID. Does he really belong here?

Students from other campuses are considered trespassers by administrators if they are on campus during the school day without permission, but students say the sight of unauthorized visitors in the hallways and cafeteria is not rare. A survey of 100 Kerr students revealed that 62 had seen a student from another school on campus during the school day at least one time this year.

For sophomore Ryan Smith* (name withheld), the trespassers are harmless, just here to see their friends.

“Of course, I see people from other high schools all the time, I even let a few in,” Smith said casually, “but as long as I know those people, it’s okay with me.”

Hall monitor Fabra Johnson said students may let friends from other campuses in the side doors during the day.

 “Usually Kerr students have friends from other schools, so [they] are more likely to let trespassers in,” she said.

But hall monitor Tinsley Jones believes the incidents are not common.

“We’ve only had one incident where we’ve caught a student trespassing on our campus,” Jones said, “and when asked to leave the campus that student peacefully cooperated, so it never was a problem.”

 Many Kerr students disagree, however. Junior Lisa Le said she is concerned about how easy it is for trespassers to enter the school.

“I don’t like the idea of people coming into Kerr,” she said. “It worries me.”

Sophomore Olabanji Amubieya also worries about the possible harm that could result.

“There are many incidents in other high schools where trespassers come into a school to inflict harm on students… or just to vandalize the school’s property and I’m worried that those incidents might happen to us,”  he said. “It makes me feel unsafe in a way, because if students can easily sneak into Kerr then anyone else can.”

Junior Denitza Dramkin shares those fears.

“I have friends in other high schools that tell me that there are a few incidents where a few students would go into the school and vandalized the property and a few other times severely hurt other students,” she said. “So I’m just worried that it could possibly happen to Kerr.”

Senior Christine Umeh questions whether teachers and staff know how often trespassing occurs.

“It’s a bit surprising that the hall monitors doesn’t notice these trespassers because one, Kerr is such a small campus, you’d expect people to be more aware of trespassers,” she said, “and two, my friends and I see these trespassers all the time.”

But some students say that, despite concerns about unauthorized visitors, they do not want to see stricter enforcement of ID rules.

“It will take away the freedom of Kerr,” said junior Collins Mensah. “To me, if you enforce stricter rules in Kerr, it would only take away the trust and freedom that students have, and honestly that’s unfair.”