By Acacia Edeluchel, student journalist for Minarets Press
This year, Minarets is excited to have another addition to the Minarets community. Michael Lewis, a deputy sheriff with the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, will be on campus every day this year serving to help keep Minarets a safe and uplifting environment. Officer Lewis explains what he will be up to while on campus.
“My overall goal and responsibility is to make sure that [everyone] is safe. We’ll do everything from campus security, to addressing any calls for service that we have for any of the students or staff if there’s an incident where there’s a fight, or there’s drugs involved, [for instance,] where my immediate presence is necessary. We’ll [also] address any of the other needs that other staff and faculty have so we can help make it a good experience for students.”
Since Officer Lewis’ arrival, he has enjoyed meeting and getting to know students and staff and providing advice and guidance. Agriculture teacher Eduardo Rubio explains he is looking forward to having Officer Lewis on campus to improve safety and security, while giving students guidance to make good choices.
“Campus security is always important and being able to have someone with his training and expertise always shows a sense of security,” Rubio says. “It also helps our students look up to an authority figure and help [them] learn that they are here to protect us and help us make better decisions.”
He explains having a sheriff on campus will add a better sense of security and safety. Some students might be intimidated and feel reluctant to approach a sheriff to ask for help, but Officer Lewis will aim to provide a resource for students and staff to turn to to ask questions or get advice and guidance.
“It’s an extra set of eyes and it’s a reminder [that] the actions we partake in in school aren’t only little tik tok [challenges],” says Rubio. “They are actions that are hurting everyone around them and can hurt them beyond the school setting and hurt their reputation or record.”
Officer Lewis explains “[I’m looking forward to] just helping students get through the overall trials of school, I was there once too not too long ago and I really think that just trying to get through school without having major problems. [I am] just looking to build relationships with people here, specifically students.”
This year, Officer Lewis will also be serving Hillside, Spring Valley, North Fork, and other schools in the district. The Minarets Community is looking forward to having his presence on campus, providing safety, security and guidance for students and staff.