POSTED: Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 14, 2012 - 3:21pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Ask any McKinley Middle School parent about their child's school and they're sure to rave to you.
"Students are encouraged to do their best, to take the risks, and they're rewarded for the risks they take," Deirdra Pierre, parent, said. "Every child should have those types of opportunities to be able to learn and play, and dream, and be creative all at the same time."
And though the school pulls from some of the most talented students in the East Baton Rouge School System, there's no denying that inside the building itself every consideration to student safety was taken in to account.
"They do have classrooms that do lock down, that the students are expected to go in to those rooms,” Pierre said. “They have no windows and they have locks on the doors, combination locks. So they have that built in, which is really comforting, although I would really hope that they would never have to use those."
Although McKinley parents like Pierre and Nikki Boyle know there are many factors that contribute to the success of the school, they say when their child feels safe, they're going to perform better.
"When a child feels safe, that makes them feel comfortable which means there are no barriers there, which means they're going to grow, they're going to blossom. They're going to be the best that they could ever be."
"They feel like they're being embraced by the school, so I think that may make a difference in their mindset. But I think they have expectations of safety."
And they're not the only ones taking notice of the safety measures. Their students, too, realize they've been put in to an environment built for their well-being.
"Nothing ever really happens at the school,” Troy Pierre, parent, said. “Not too many conflicts. And they have cameras set up in every hall at different points, so people don't really do anything."
But it's not just the sense of physical safety that ensures parents about their choice - they say their children continue to be successful because they're in an environment that offers their child a sense of safety in their own creativity as well.
"When my son was in sixth grade, about halfway through the year I asked him, 'So what do you think of middle school? What do you think of McKinley?' He told me he loved it and I asked him ‘Why?’ He said, 'Well when I was in elementary school and I was singing or acting, everyone thought I was weird, and I felt ostracized and now when I am at McKinley, everybody's weird like that. So none of us are weird.’"
The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board was contacted for comment on this story and declined.
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