A New Perspective on Campus Security

Campus Aide Wesley Fenderson keeping Granada safe. Photo by Brian Zamora / The Plaid Press

By Brian Zamora

Wesley Fenderson is relaxed, wearing sneakers, blue jeans, and a GHCHS sweater. He lowers the volume on his walkie-talkie, receiving and delivering codes as he talks. Currently pursuing his Master’s degree in child development, Fenderson has built good connections with children and students on campus. With his four years of employment on campus, Fenderson is well aware of the ups and downs that come with his job.

Fenderson serves as a member of the campus aide staff, and helps provide a safe learning environment for students and the teachers. Campus security perform a variety of tasks for the school, which include monitoring students, opening and closing the campus, and enforcing the school rules.

Security is a top priority for the school, which has 24-hour security for the main campus on weekdays, weekends and even holidays. Security staff is in charge of making sure that visitors check in properly, securing the perimeter, and monitoring any suspicious activity, among other things.

Campus security also takes certain measures to ensure that everyone is following school protocol. During gap period, for instance, the gates are monitored by school security so that returning students can come onto campus, and students on campus can stay inside during the time.

“The biggest responsibility of the campus security is to ensure everyone’s safety. The security serves as an extra set of eyes and ears for us,” discipline dean James Vickers said.

With a job that important, the school provides campus security staff with the training they need to keep us safe. Campus security are trained for first aid, for usage of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED), and for handling emergencies whenever necessary. Fenderson has over 20 years of experience in security and is well aware of the procedures for each of these potential events.

“Granada has training videos available for all of the faculty on their website, to make sure that people can be safe in all situations,” Fenderson said.

Perhaps one of the greatest tasks for the campus security is the interactions that they have with the students. Developing a rapport with the security gives students a sense of comfort if they want to share something that they may not want to share with other adults.

Fenderson can often be seen laughing with students, teachers, and even the administrators. Students know Fenderson as one of the friendliest and most open security staff on campus.

Outside of his work at our school, Fenderson has also worked for the Compton Unified School District and a Continuation school in Compton. Being experienced with students from other areas gives him a greater will to help minority students succeed.

“Interacting with the students would be one of the benefits of the job, because I can help and encourage kids to do right and get their education,” Fenderson said.

Although some of the security staff on campus may seem too strict to some students, their job is to make sure that the rules are always being enforced during school hours to provide a safe environment. Contrary to what the students might think about the campus security, much of the staff is in fact open and understanding. In fact, many times they can be found going out of their way to talk to students about anything from school to sports and even the new Kanye West album.

“Having the presence of security gives us a sense of feeling protected, and provides the school with someone who monitors people who go inside and outside of campus,” senior Justin Ilang-Ilang said.

The campus aide staff has the best intentions for the students and the rest of the staff on campus. Their positive presence, particularly from Fenderson, will ensure that students are safe and feel comfortable in school.

“The best part of this job is when I get to see these students graduate,” Fenderson said.

Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

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