The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


Students Having a Hard Time Handling Locked Doors

Director of Community Safety Mr. Buerger responds to complaints about locked doors
Zane struggling with a locked door.

Every day, there is a difficult balance that needs to be struck between safety and convenience at Lakeside. Many Lakesiders trying to yank open the door for a shortcut into the WCC or escape the rain to the upstairs entrance of Allen Gates are met with the disappointment of a sign that reads, “This door will remain locked at all times.” Many of them may wonder, “Is this really going to help?” Yet, safety is a real concern, especially following the shock of the recent incident where a Kia was driven erratically onto campus after school.

As such, the school seems faced with double frustrations around the necessity for campus safety and the length of measures that need to be taken to ascertain that safety. David Buerger, director of community safety at Lakeside, tries to reconcile these issues.

Mr. Buerger has prior experience with the FBI, as a law enforcement officer for 25 years, and in safety and security roles in other schools’ administrations. He stressed that his expertise in the field should be one of the reasons for Lakeside students to “focus on having fun and enjoying their high school career and leave the safety up to [him].” He also described that his work was largely “preventative in nature” and that Lakesiders should feel secure in the fact that there wasn’t a specific incident that prompted the creation of his role.

Though Mr. Buerger has implemented (and has further plans to implement) a series of changes to improve Lakeside’s safety and security, the one that the Lakeside student body was made overtly aware of was the locked doors around campus.

[Mr. Buerger] stressed that his expertise in the field should be one of the reasons for Lakeside students to “focus on having fun and enjoying their high school career and leave the safety up to [him].”

This move is unpopular with many students. Tatler received an Angry Lion complaint from a student fed up with “THE DOORS BEING LOCKED AROUND CAMPUS.” In this month’s Tatler poll, many respondents shared the sentiment that the locked doors “make it difficult to get into buildings efficiently.”

Mr. Buerger hears this criticism and confusion from students but still stands by his decision. In a written statement that echoes his ideas from our interview, Mr. Buerger explained that “not every exterior door needs to be readily available for entry.” Continuing, he wrote that doors like those of St. Nick’s and the Learning Resources Center “offer opportunities for anyone, including non-community members, to enter those buildings without attracting attention.” He emphasized that while it may cause minor inconveniences, “the safety of our community [always] takes precedence.”

In line with fostering a secure environment across all of Lakeside (including The Downtown School), Mr. Buerger is proud to have enacted several other safety initiatives during his past seven months with the school.

In order to increase student and staff emergency preparedness, Mr. Buerger has planned both announced and unannounced monthly drills for fires, earthquakes, lockdowns, and more. “I’m a big believer that … if you don’t practice, you’re not going to perform very well,” he says. The drills are meant to test systems should an emergency occur, so he emphasized that students should be sure to pay attention during the drills.

Mr. Buerger has additionally revamped the visitor management system at both Lakeside Upper School and Middle School. He has added the RAPTOR visitor management software to both campuses. Visitors now have to check in with this program at the respective main offices. RAPTOR “scans their government ID … and it puts their name and credentials into the system.” Its procedure involves a background sex offender check as well as taking note of the buildings they will be entering. “You probably didn’t know about this earlier, did you?” he added with a smile, hinting at the idea that students are often unaware of the full picture of behind-the-scenes administrative work.

When asked about his plans for the future of Lakeside safety, Mr. Buerger revealed a new reporting system that faculty have already gotten a preview of. Mr. Buerger is planning to roll out a new safety app, Titan HST, that allows community members to report any unsafe or suspicious behavior that they see on or around campus to the administration. Since it’s an app, “it’s in your hand, and you can report anything at any given time,” he hopes.

[…] While it may cause minor inconveniences, ‘the safety of our community [always] takes precedence.’

Before concluding the interview, Mr. Buerger addressed the elephant in the room: the recent issue with the car. “It was traumatic,” he responded. Although he made sure to send the message that Lakeside is a safe community, he praised the situational awareness displayed during the incident as a necessary skill in society. “But I want to do whatever’s necessary to make sure things like this never happen again,” he promised. For more information on this incident and the security response, read Rohan D. ’25’s article [Details of the “Car Incident” Remain Murky].

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About the Contributors
Sachi T. '26
Contrary to her taste in watching action-packed Mission Impossible style movies, writer Sachi T. ‘26 often enjoys reading feel-good books. She has been dancing for 11 years, mostly in the style of Indian classical, and she's been attending Lakeside since sixth grade. At the school, she plays the viola in orchestra and participates in Model UN events. At home, Sachi adores her golden retriever and watches football and cricket. She also likes to travel with her family, having been to 14 different countries. One fun fact about Sachi is that she has a collection of shot glasses from every place she has visited!
(Zane-R.-’24, Editor in Chief
Review: Zane: The Movie (★★★★☆) Released in early 2006, Zane quickly became a fan favorite. A charming and lovable fella, Zane has captured the hearts of watchers around the nation. Top scenes include moving across the world, surfing waves as a 6-yearold on the sunny California coast, and battling his enemies with his Black-Belt karate skills. Despite some judgement, Zane and his journalistic exploits remains well-respected by most. Critics say: "10/10 writer. 8/10 personality." - Lucy K. '24 "Fun sense of humor. Great guy all around." - Rishi L. '24 "He looks a lot like one of my friends. Actually... maybe not." - Stellan M. '23

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