West Fargo High School is working to keep students safe


Tyger Albano, Staff Writer

Over the last couple of months, schools all around the district have experienced threats and other concerning things that have scared both adults and students. With these events, West Fargo High School has and will be doing many things in order to keep students safe.

Dr. Fremstad, principal here at WFHS, states what the school is doing to keep students safe with these threats, “I think it’s more than just immediate action. What we try to do every single day is building relationships with all the kids here so that when they walk in the door, they feel like they are in a safe, comfortable, and caring place.” Fremstad said. “If more students in here feel that, the danger reduces significantly, so we work really hard to get in touch with our students.”

In response to these threats over the year, WFHS has been using community resources to handle these problems. “We have a great working relationship with the West Fargo Police Department, with those threats (during December) they were on it immediately. With the Cheney threats, it took 13 hours for them to get arrests made, which is pretty fast when you think about the social media aspect and finding addresses.”

There has been some controversy over a potential threat to WFHS safety: backpacks. Fremstad talks about her opinion on them. “I would say that it wasn’t until December that the safety was brought back into the conversation. Before it was COVID, we have to now have the conversation of do we feel confident about our COVID protocol to bring back backpacks in lockers.” She said. “Since we have let backpacks roam the school, we have not had many safety issues at all, one or two if I call recall.” “We are seeing more vapes than weaponry.”

Recently there has been a couple national school shootings that have taken the U.S. by storm. One of them being at Oxford High School in Michigan. Fremstad learns from this experience and shows how we can do things differently. “For us, lets take that scenario, and walk through what our current procedures are to see what happens, and what we found, is that it would have never happened at our school.” The shooter at Oxford had records of self-harm and harming other students. “If we have a student who has self-harmed or harmed others, that is a principal-parent conversation. One of the very first questions we are asking is if they have access to weapons.”

Mr. Zuel, one of the counselors at WFHS, speaks on behalf of all of the counselors when talking about school safety. “I think students more than ever are aware of threats to their physical safety because of current events. With that said, on the whole, we have not seen any increase of anxiety and/or concerns at West Fargo High School specifically related to threats. We work hard to create the counseling office as a safe place for staff and students to come and process any worries they may have about their safety at school, at home, and in the community. And lets be real, Officer Balvik is awesome.”

Kenny Tran, Junior here at WFHS, believes that he is in good hands here at school. “I don’t feel scared or unsafe when threats come around the area, I have enough trust in our school to keep us safe.” Tran said. “The staff here are doing a great job keeping things under control during times such as the fire alarm.”

Threats near WFHS have been more prominent then ever in the last few years, and the school is ready for anything that comes its way.