Q&A with BHSS security guards


Cal Noriega, Staff Writer

You’ve seen them ruining your Starbucks run or asking to see your pass, but who really are the men in black t-shirts?  The Bloomington South Optimist Newspaper interviewed security guards Josh Tinsley and Corbin Calvert, and learned some very interesting information about them.


What’s the first thing you do when you get to South?


Corbin: I personally come in here, get on the cameras, and watch just to make sure nothing bad is going on outside or inside.


Josh: What do I do in the morning?  Well, when I come in the morning, I clock in, come up, put my food in the fridge, and then I go outside and do my daily bus duty where I monitor the bus lanes and ensure that buses have an open lane to pull in and drop kids off.  I also watch for accidents and if kids get hit I can respond right off the bat.


How do you usually spend the morning to noon shift here as a security guard?


Corbin:  The first two periods we like calm, calm is good.  We’re in the camera room watching the cameras making sure everything is ok.  Occasionally we’ll be called for an escort, or if a kid’s missing we’ll have to go look for them.  Usually it’s com though, on a good day it’s calm.  We never know when a kid is going to get in a fight or if someone has something they’re not supposed to have, and we have to be on it immediately if something does happen.  That’s how we like to spend the first two periods.


Josh:  I like to wander.  I check bathrooms, I make sure doors are locked, I keep everything calm in the morning, I make sure everyone’s safe.


What’s the busiest time of day for a South security guard?


Corbin:  Definitely Panther Plus and lunch.  During Panther Plus and SRT, everyone wants to skip.  Many students don’t consider that a class so they want to leave, but attendance is mandatory so we’re constantly catching skippers and getting them back to class.  During lunch we have to be in the cafeteria and help outside.  People also like to wander around the halls at lunch when they’re not supposed to, so we catch a lot of people then.


Josh:  I agree with all of that.


How’s the fourth and fifth period shift?


Corbin:  The kids are a little bit more rowdy at the end of the day.  You never know when something’s going to happen, so we always have to be alert and ready.


Josh:  I feel like after lunch, all the kids get that food in them.  They’re energized, they’re ready to go.  Some kids get fed up with their classes already, and when the end of the day hits they want to skip their classes.


Corbin:  Especially right before break, oh my goodness.


Josh:  I see myself walking kids to class after that bell rings more often after lunch than I do during first and second period.  I’m actually surprised how many kids don’t get to class on time.


Corbin:  There’s more walking around than watching the cameras during fourth and fifth for sure.


Josh:  We’re more active because the students are more active.


What’s your favorite part of the job?


Corbin: My favorite part is the freedom to be able to get up and walk around.  We can go outside and get fresh air, talk to people, and more; we don’t have to sit in the same room all day every day.  The job can also get pretty exciting even when we don’t want it to be, but when it does you at least get to see some action.


Josh:  I like the connection we’re able to make with the youth.  There are times where we’re able to intervene in somebody’s life in a positive way, though they may seem negative, we help show them the error before they become adults and do something far worse.  Hopefully we can steer them in the right direction before they’re out of high school and go into the adult world.


Do you also feel a deep connection to the students, Corbin?


Corbin: I do, I like all of the students.  I don’t think there are bad students, just good students who make bad decisions.  A lot of people don’t like certain kids, and you have to realize that all kids come from different backgrounds.  Some have it a lot harder than others, and we help them when they make bad choices.


Josh:  My connection is strictly professional.  I won’t hang out with kids after school…


Corbin:  Wait, I’m not doing that either!  I didn’t mean to imply that it was like that.


Josh:  Yes, I find a friendly, professional atmosphere makes it so the kids feel comfortable enough to come to me if they have issues.  I’m also not on kids all the time too much, so they don’t feel nervous about coming to me.  I do make it clear, however, that I’m their security guard.  I’m not their friend.  Even if I’m friendly to you, I’ll still treat you like any other kid here that messes up, and I will turn you in.


What are your favorite spots to guard?


Josh:  Everything, especially the outside.


Corbin:  Yeah, you see the most action outside plus you get fresh air.


Josh:  If you leave… I will find you.


Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Josh:  I love this job.


Corbin:  Uuhhh… no.