Lewis S. Mills is Under a Close Watch

Parker Nye, Reporter


BURLINGTON CT – A small rural high school, Lewis S. Mills, located in the woods of

Connecticut is under a tight security watch to keep the students and faculty safe. After recent

history of school shootings and other various crimes such as the Sandy Hook shooting, the

Region 10 school district has increased their watch on the school. However, are all of these

advancements really necessary?

Lewis S. Mills High School has been one of the few lucky schools that has never

received any major threat in safety over the past several years. However with a school located in

a rural community such as Burlington, it’s just a matter of time until a tragedy happens. The

district is hoping to avoid any major threats by keeping a close watch on their school, so they

started to implement tighter security. Within the past 10 years, Mills has been equipped with an

abundance of security cameras both located on the inside of the building pointed at the hallways,

and on the outside campus, pointed at incoming human traffic. The school has also hired their

own police officer to keep things running smoother, and as of December of 2012, security guards

have been positioned at the main entrances. These guards were former police officers so they

know how to react in an emergency. On every classroom window in the school there are paper

accordions which double as window shields so intruders can’t see inside the classroom in case of

a lockdown.

When asked about the effect on these new security measures the school officer, Officer

Torrence, replied, “It’s a good service that procedes to keep people safe. I like to believe that it’s

making everybody feel safer. We’re never going to know what these cameras prevented.”

While it may seem like common sense, Officer Torrence believes that by having tight

security, it will eliminate any type of crimes committed on the school. However it is quite

expensive to keep all of this security running year round. Taxpayers from the towns of

Burlington and Harwinton have to spend out-of-pocket money on the security systems. It raises

the question to the community on whether or not having this wonderful security system is really

worth it. Will the benefits really outweigh the costs for this small nearly crime free community?

In recent interviews with students at Mills, most students agree that the tight security is

necessary and is making them feel safe. Lewis S. Mills senior, Justin Neal states, “Having

security cameras in our schools is good because, if something ever bad happens the authorities

can easily track down whoever did the crime.”

Officer Torrence broadens this view by stating, “We use these cameras for evidence

only. These cameras are not monitored however if something does ever happen we can track

them down very quickly. It makes our jobs a bit easier because we can show the criminal the

video evidence and with video evidence there is no denial.”

While most people can agree on the use of the cameras, some people have different

viewpoints on the guards.

A Senior at Mills, Nate Virovoy states, “The guards are not necessary. If somebody is so

inclined on bringing terror to Mills, the guards are not going to be able to stop them. It’s a sad


It’s just so hard to know “what did it prevent”. The public will just never know what a

certain type of security prevented until a catastrophic event happens and there is no security there

to stop it.

“It’s better to have excess security than to realize what could have been prevented after a

tragedy happens” explains Senior Ally Fecteau.

Furthermore, Officer Torrence pointed out, “People aren’t going to want to mess with our

school, when they see my explorer parked out front”. Students at Mills see this explorer

everyday, not as a bad thing, but as a sign of feeling safe in their high school community.

Officer Torrence made his final remarks by explaining what the district is going to do in

future months in terms of security improvements. “Right now I am creating a District plan of

safety so all the schools in Region 10 know what to do in case of an emergency. Lake Garda,

HCS, and Har-Bur will each create their own part. We’re also implementing new classroom

locks and new automatic gates.”.

In future years here at Mills, the security is going to continue to get tighter. Technology is

increasing making it even easier to install higher quality cameras. Gaurds will remain by the

front entrances greeting each and every person who walks in and out of Mills. Security needs to

stay at mills so the students and faculty stay safe. Like Officer Torrrence stated earlier, “We will

just never know what it prevented.”