Our Campus Security Officers…an Integral Part of MVHS Culture

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“If you have this job thinking it’s just a security job, you’re in the wrong field,” Campus Security Officer Renteria pointed out. “If you don’t like people or like kids, you’re in the wrong position.”

Free public education is a right for everyone in the U.S, regardless if we all take advantage of it or not. Safety within this education is essential.

Who are the people that make sure we’re safe? Well, they are more than just the people that tell us to go to class. What is their role? To keep us safe.

They are our campus security officers, and they do not get enough credit.

The relationship between us, the students, and our fellow CSO’s should consist of mutual respect. After all, we are both here to fulfill a purpose. We’re working for us and they’re working for us.

What many students may not know, is the campus supervisors underwent a rigorous training that made them certified campus security officers, on top of any additional training they have held prior. This training allowed them to take action, when necessary, to protect the school and themselves.

And quite frankly, their job requires them to face any danger that presents itself on campus, for our sake. They are the front line and that, at the very least, should be a source of respect.

While some students view the CSOs as strictly authority figures, at the end of the day, a lot of what they do is for our well being.

While most kids may see a tough or serious look on their faces, one CSO in particular, is known for his friendliness and jokes. If you’re wondering where the joy comes from, this is why he began this job in the first place.

“My motivation was working with kids,” CSO Troy Reagans said. “I’ve always worked with kids… just talking to people, getting to know people, just being who I am.”

Respect is a key characteristic between students and authority figures, without it, communicating effectively is immensely difficult.

Lorie Batiste, an experienced CSO, understands the importance of this communication.

“I always try to come at the students in a way that I would want them to respond to me,”

Batiste stated. “My role to the students is to uplift them and hopefully encourage them to make it through these four years and get their diploma.”

This is the support that we need, and if something dangerous where to potentially happen, these are the people we go to confide in. They are on our side.

There was a CSO I wanted to interview, however, the opportunity did not arise. This is because every time I wanted to approach him, I saw that he was preoccupied serving students with various needs. I saw him around campus twice, and both times I heard him say encouragingly to two different students, “Stay strong.”

A part of me thought he may have initially spoke with those students and knew they were going through something. I come to understand that he may have not known their struggles, but knew we all carry internal battles and while those two words may not defeat them, they encourage us to keep fighting.

Once I heard his encouraging words, his motivation for being here was clear to me.

At one point, all CSOs were high schoolers too. There is a reason they decided to come back to this place, there was a desire that needed to be fulfilled, and in one way or the other, it has to do with us.

CSO and coach Mike Renteria, has been involved with the school for many years, and still plans to continue further as a teacher and/or behavioral specialist.

“I know that our students come to our site with different things going on in their life, from all walks of life,” Renteria said. “You have to be sensitive to that nature and understand that kids are coming to school, I could be the one positive person they know.”

CSOs are just as important as teachers, administrators, and all other staff on campus.

“It’s not just security,” Renteria said. “It’s mentoring, it’s educating, it’s support.. it’s all that support for the students needs.… you have to have a general love for children as well and their well-being.”