Spotlight on West’s Security Guards

Jenn Davis, Reporter

West High School sees around 1,800 students on a daily basis, who sometimes make poor choices. When students need discipline outside of the classroom, one of the four security guards must step in.

One of West’s longtime security guards is Antonio Wyche who started working at West nine years ago because he liked to coach and it was a way to get into the building to be around the kids he coaches. His most enjoyable part of his job is “the interaction of being around kids.”

Wyche’s philosophy of work is to be an adult and do your job. One of the hardest decisions he made is busting a kid for something and the thought of them having an alternative placement, so disciplining kids is a hard decision to make. Something he wants people to know about his job is that he’s not all mean although, his job sometimes requires that.

Otillia “OT” Rodriguez has been working at West for two years so far but she was at Central Middle school for 10 years as a security guard previously. Due to many experiences she has, she thinks the qualities of being a security guard is to ensure the safety and well-being of the school; not only for the children but adults as well and keeping everyone in the building safe.

She really loves the people here. When asked the difference between high school kids and middle school kids OT responded saying that, “middle school kids are still trying to figure out who they are and high school kids know who they are and where they want to be.” OT has no cons about working at West because she loves the structure of the school. Although, one rule she would change is the ability to use headphones in the hallway because if there would be an important announcement a lot of people wouldn’t have hear it. One thing she would like people to know about her job is that when we communicate it’s on a good level.

Stacey Lawrence enjoys his job of nearly 30 years because he loves people and he loves helping people. Lawrence was a police officer, but retired, and says it differs a lot because a police officer can get physically involved and the power of life and death. As a security guard you can get physical, but you have to deal with verbal issues, and talk people out of stuff and give them good advice and put them on a right path. His favorite part of working here is the people and staff. Lawrence says, “A big pro about working is you get a lot of vacation time.” Something he wished people knew about his job is that he’s here to help.