New security rules on VHS campus have major effects on student life


Campus supervisors are stationed all around the VHS campus during breaks, and during class. Pictured is supervisor Aaron Triana on the VHS golf-cart, watching the Poli St. side of campus during 6th period. Photo by: Elise Sisk

Elise Sisk

 The new security rules brought forward by Cervantes are being enforced by campus security officers. 

With VHS’s new principal Marissa Cervantes in charge, there have been changes on campus. One of these changes is increased security, which some Ventura High School students think is more strict and more strongly enforced than before.


Students who are tardy to a class will now receive lunch-time detention. According to the VHS bulletin, “random tardy sweeps” have begun. A random tardy sweep is where administration will randomly pick days and times to check classrooms for tardy students. If students are caught being tardy, they will receive a lunch-time detention. 


This new rule says that students who are not in class when the bell rings — i.e. tardy — will be given detention. Junior Jasmine Bruns said, “It’s kind of absurd that we have a whole lunch detention if we’re a few minutes late to class.”


Another new rule being implemented is that all students must carry their ID and be ready to show it to security during random times during the day. Students with a gap period must be ready to show their schedule. Administration therefore enforces security both during class time and during breaks.


Caroline Dickinson, who is a senior at El Camino, but is in the music program at VHS, was kicked off campus by security because she was still on campus after her class was over.  She was told that El Camino students weren’t allowed to stay here during the times they had gap periods. “I was walking to Santa Cruz to get a snack, [. . .] and then I came back on campus and I was kicked off, because I didn’t have an off campus pass.” 

Another rule students have noticed  is the locking of the gate at the main street gym and the portables gate, the gate to the parking lot by the portables that many teachers park in. The gates are locked due to risks of security breaches. This leaves many students with reduced ways to leave campus.

In a survey taken on The Cougar Press Instagram account,, 75% of students believe that campus security is too strict this year. Compared to previous years, security has changed, and according to the data, it seems that not everyone is happy about it. Graphic by: Elise Sisk

English teacher Dr. Elizabeth Mainz said, “It’s kind of a bummer that [the gates] have to be locked. I understand why, and I don’t think I disagree with it, but I just feel like it’s just bad. For example, my son walks over here from Cabrillo, and I thought he could come through the gate to my classroom, but he can’t, then I was like ‘Oh shoot!’” Mainz continued, “I haven’t seen students hopping the fence [. . .] but if I saw someone hopping, I would be concerned for their safety more than anything else.”

To some students, it may feel like there are constantly changing new campus security rules. Many students don’t know about them until they break them. According to Paul Hunt, the music director at Ventura High School, students are not allowed to enter the music/drama building from the Catalina side entrance during breaks anymore because it can’t be monitored. Music students now must have a pass to use practice rooms. 

However, according to the most recent VHS student handbook (which is from 2019), all of these security rules were in place in the past, but they were never enforced. Aaron Triana, a campus supervisor at VHS said, “It’s not that [the rules] are different; it’s more that we’re just trying to be more consistent in maintaining the rules that have already been in place.” Cervantes is taking all of the pre-existing campus safety rules and having them enforced more strictly and regularly than former principal Carlos Cohen did.