Enquirer Herald

Students Rock!

CLOVER -- A group of Clover High students took school safety into their own hands Saturday by spending the day rocking outside Killian's Service Center.

In doing so, they hope to leave a legacy for future classes.

They also raised more than $5,000 to improve school safety.

This year, students in Nicole Thompson's English class read "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom about a dying sociology professor. They also watched "Freedom Writers," a movie about inner city teens who use writing as a way to talk about and address the tough situations in their life.

Thompson talked with her students about the legacy these people left and then asked her students to come up with a way they could leave a legacy at their school and formulate a plan to make it happen.

They decided to research school safety.

"They realize there are people within their own classroom that know of students who have brought weapons to school with the intent to use them, but chose not to report them," Thompson said.

With shootings and school violence increasing around the nation -- and in the wake of a recent bomb threat written in one of Clover High's bathrooms -- the students thought it was something they should address.

"We walked around the school and just kind of looked at some things that we thought were security or hazard problems to our school," said Michael Hohler, a junior. "It wasn't anything extremely serious, but there are some things that needed to be fixed, so we looked at that and then we looked at the prices on the Internet about how much certain things would cost."

They came up with several ideas that could make students feel safer, including installing more cameras, requiring all students to wear IDs and buying hand-held metal detectors.

The students could have stopped there, but didn't.

They took the research a step further by holding the rock-a-thon on Saturday, when students sat in rocking chairs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to attract attention -- and hopefully dollars -- for their project.

"It's hot out here, but it's worth every minute," said Trevis Choates, a senior. "Our class is coming together to do something for our school."

During the rock-a-thon, they took donations and also had a bake sale, dunking booth, DJ and sold Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and sno cones.

"We want to leave a legacy for our school," said senior Taylor Rawls. "It's not that our school's not safe. We're just being proactive."

The York County Sheriff's Office commended the student's initiative and provided a pizza lunch for the group on Saturday. Their hard works shows that they take school safety seriously, said Sheriff Bruce Bryant.

"They want to feel good about the environment that they're spending a good portion of their life in," Bryant said.

New security equipment, especially cameras, will be useful for officers assigned to patrol Clover High, Bryant said. School officials and resource officers only see so much and depend a great deal on technology, he said.

-- Editor Shannon Greene contributed