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Keys in high school

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by renegadeblack, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. renegadeblack

    renegadeblack Active Member

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    I'm a high school student and we seem to be having some debate about whether or not we (sld and ssd) should have keys to the booth door. We've since installed many locks inside on our sound rack and plan on installing cabinets for our various things as well as locks on the sliding windows that people (including me and the ssd as well as people who screw with our stuff) get in. We have keys to all of the new locks that we've installed so we are able to actually secure things and still get inside.

    Two questions:
    I want to be able to put some sort of keyed lock for the electricity in the booth. Something that I could turn a key on and would complete the circuit, preferably on the cheap. Ideas?

    Do you think that we should be able to have the keys to the door? It would make our lives so much easier, but they say that its unethical. Other high school studentsn do you have keys?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  2. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    My two cents:

    Answer to question one: no.
    Revised answer to question one: hell no.

    Answer to question two: no.

    As much as you take ownership of the venue and systems, in the end it's not your space or building. With keys for convenience comes heaps of responsibility and liability that, as I understand it, you can't legally be liable for.
     
    KT the TD likes this.
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    First, put away the phone and pay attention to your class, if there is one thing that drives me crazy more then anything its my students texting during class.

    First question, who else besides you and your friend have the keys to the locks you put on things?

    Second, with the "cut the booth power" key, no, don't do that. First, it will require you to put in a switch, which means modifying the electrical connection in the walls. I assume you want to do this yourself, and I can tell you the administration will not be so happy with you if you start re-wiring the building. Also, I guarantee that you don't know enough about how to do it to do it safely. Also, there is really no need for that, are you really that concerned with someone power something up after they have gotten past the lock on the door?

    Third, none of my students have keys to anything, period. I keep the keys to everything with me at all times. I do not leave anything unlocked, including dressing rooms. Lift keys stay with me as well. I do this for two reasons, first I know for certain where the kids are not during class. Also, I know where my gear is at all times, because if I don't unlock it, no one can get to it.

    Now for my "teacher" side to come out. Your at school. When you are at school someone is responsible for you when you are there. Therefore, if something happens to you its their rear-end that will be on the line. If they give you a "main" key to the building, allowing you 24 hour access, to that room, they have now lost control over you. You can now get through a controlled area without assistance, without someone knowing that you are there. So now when you go there, and you get hurt, no one will know where to look. Also compounded on that, there is no way an administrator is going to let a student have a key because they will think you will skip class and hide, to be blunt about it.

    So, a little about my experience we keys as a student.
    When I was in High school, we did not get keys to the buidling. I did however have a skeleton key to the middle school so when I went over to help with shows or whatnot I could do what I needed to do.

    In college, by my senior year I had keys to every theatre and shop on campus. I was also the House TD of one of our spaces so I needed those keys.

    Now, a rant.

    I know you want keys. I know you want to "feel the power". You want to, and probably do, carry them on your belt so they go jingle jingle. Right now, its not going to happen. People are responsible for you, and if you get those keys, they lose the ability to control you, which can put them at risk.
     
  4. chrispo86

    chrispo86 Active Member

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    As a student, the LD (a year older than me) and myself (ALD) constantly bugged our tech. advisor for keys to the lighting booth. Never got anywhere with it. After I graduated I kept going back and helping out at the high school. I have even been hired back as a consultant under formal contract from the school district for the past 4 years (I graduated in 2004). I still don't have keys. My buddy who was LD over me, started as a teacher last year in the school. Even as a full time faculty member, he also still doesn't have keys.

    Basically it comes down to, as it has already been said, there is way too much responsibility that goes along having the keys to a room like that. Frankly I'm suprised you have any keys at all. In my high school, only one person in the district has a key to any of the equipment in our auditorium. The only other key is kept in the school vault. I'm not exaggerating either.

    And as much as I wanted keys then, and would still like to have keys now, I have to agree, there is too much responsibility. God forbid something happen (someone gets hurt when there is no other supervision, equipment is stolen, etc), the person who has the keys is the one who's head goes on the chopping block...


    And as for keyed power for the booth, I can't really see why you would need it? There shouldn't really be anybody who doesn't at least have some sort of idea as to what they're doing in the room in the first place.
     
  5. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    I never got keys in high school, if the TD wasn't there work didn't get done. It was a PITA to find him all the time but that is the way it had to be.

    I college all SMs get a key for the space they are working in. Any LDs and MEs get a key for the duration of the show. Upper level students also get a key, most of the time they fit into one of those positions and if not they tend to have other projects that require them to be around. We also have student keys for the booth and CAD/sound lab that get issued out when there are projects do.
     
  6. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    I would say no to the keys for the booth, storage, and what not as well. Unless you have a special key system that only, and let me repeat ONLY opens the booth.

    As for why, I think that if you are respectful and show (and maintain) responsibility, you should be rewarded. However, if you mess up, then be prepared to have those keys taken away. Also, I come from a small school background (High school of about 400 kids) where I was one of two people who did tech stuff. If something out of the ordinary happened, it would be rather easy to find out the person responsible. I got a key when we had shows going on so I could get stuff when I needed, as the teacher who was in charge was not always available. Is this a universal rule? No. It's very situation dependent - both on the competence of the person and the setting from both a safety and a need based aspect.

    Also, as an employee of the school, I also had a key to the concession stand, kitchen, locker room, and athletic equipment room. That key was granted by the administration so I could perform my duties as Concession Stand manager. I tell you that to ask this: What is the school's policy on keys? Do any other students have keys? If not, the administration probably won't give out any to you or the other members of your crew.

    I guess I have to go back to the WHY. Why do you want a key? Do you really NEED a key? Probably not. After all, you've survived this far without one.
     
  7. chrispo86

    chrispo86 Active Member

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    I almost made a comment about this being a possible alternative even on the high school front.

    If you have a door with a card that will only let you in during a certain time period during the day, then that eliminates a lot of the inherent problems with giving out keys. You don't need to worry about students running off during the middle of the day or coming in after hours when they shouldn't be there. And if it does so happen to be a time when they are allowed access, as it was said, those things track every person (by card number) that opens the lock and what time it was opened.

    That's not to say that there still isn't a huge amount of responsibility with having access to a booth, even if it is controlled access.
     
  8. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    I'll leave the key thing alone.
    If you're school already has light switches that require a key see if you can get your advisor to have maintenance install one in the booth.

    Wait a second, just use the breaker.
    Then anyone who needs to can use it without a key or much hassle, but those who aren't supposed to be using it will be deterred.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  9. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    By the way, in high school I and the other students never had keys to anything at the school. Somehow we survived.

    In college, like somebody else's college above, the stage manager got a key to the theatre for the duration of rehearsal and production of the show. That's it.

    As a freelance LD going back to light shows at the high school, I don't have any venue keys. They have given me keys to things like equipment racks, cabinets, padlocks, and the sort, but no building keys, and that's fine with me. Sure would make things convenient, but it's not that important: if I need in and the director and TD aren't there, and I haven't borrowed their keys, then I probably don't really need to be there.
     
  10. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    It is in the works here, just got started across the street at the road house. The problem we face is the per door costs means that some doors will never see it scene shop for sure, prop storage probably not.
     
  11. elite1trek

    elite1trek Active Member

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    You dont need the keys. It just makes things convenient. Believe me, I understand, its a pain to have to wait for someone to open something, or to track someone down. But put yourself in your school's shoes, who you, the responsible adult, let your students have keys to the booth so they could get in there whenever they wanted. The answer is probably (and should be) no.

    Now, at my theatre, if somebody needs something unlocked, or they need to get into the building or anything else, I give them my keys, but if they dont bring them back I TRACK THEM DOWN AND KILL THEM...erm...I mean....ask them to give me my keys back.

    I also welded the key ring together so nobody can take any keys off. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  12. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    i use to think that i should have a key to the booth but we rarely kept it locked. only 2 people had keys to all the doors of our high schol theatre: the director and tech director (he had district wide keys as he was the system admin) the crew had a key for all th padlocks to all the equipment. keys annoy me. if i need to get somewhere i find the person with the keys and have them unlock the relock so i just have to close the door when i am done. this way they knew i was there and had an idea what i was doing. i graduated three years ago and still have my padlock key because i help with the civic theatre that uses the little theatre. the one thing that bugged me about the other crew members was that they felt the need to wear their keys. they had one that worked for the space and what ever personal keys. its not a fashion statement to wear your keys. the only one who had a right to wear theirs was the director because he used them multiple times throughout the day. even though i have a clip my keys are always in my pocket, i dont like the jingle of keys. since i have left all exterior doors now use a card swipe entry process. at my college (uwm) i know the sm and the staff have keys and maybe the few upper upperclassmen. i have not found a reason why most people would need a key there. if theyre working on something a staff member will be there. to get into any of the building we have handscanners. which are useful to get you into the space but in order to get into any rooms you need a key.

    i see it as yeah having total access would be nice but honestly you do not need it for there should always be someone above you keeping track.
     
  13. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    I had keys in high school. I actually had keys in middle school too. Looking back I consider myself to be lucky and realize how trustable I must have been for them to do that. I highschool I had keys to the television studio and the storage room, and the theatre key. Eventually I replaced those single keys with a building master and became a full-set holder junior and senior year. I was basically the on-call backup for the full-time (adult) theatre manager and thus needed access to everything. I never was given an alarm code for the building though so somebody had to disarm even though I could get in the exterior doors. At the peak of "full-set-holder-dom" I had probably 20 or so keys for the theatre, roll-up door, lifts, racks and tool cabinets - it does weigh you down after a while. I carried multiple rings and kept my most frequently used keys on my belt (the masters) along with my van key and the rest were kept in my pocket. Jingling gets to be SUPER annoying after a while, especially during a show if you have to move around at all.

    One thing to remember about institutional style key systems is that it's rare someone at the advisor level HAS extra copies of keys to give out. Most say "duplication prohibited" and although you still can get them copied most people know they shouldn't - uncontrolled keys not issued by the facility are a major security risk. If the facility issues them at least they know when one is missing so they can have things rekeyed if necessary. Most of the time your advisors will have to beg their superiors for extra keys to give out just like you beg them, and they probably don't want to.

    Would I give keys to students if I was a highschool TD? Maybe. I remember how it was. It would have to be a student that went above and beyond, and who is absolutely trustable. Keys to the booth? Probably...keys to the theatre doors...maybe not as easily. Keys to the building - probably not...that's an administration decision.
     
  15. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I see no problem in the model we used to use at a space I worked in. When we showed up to do a show, we went to security and checked out Keys. At the end of the night we checked the keys back in. In Highschool Our techer had a couple of different sets of keys, you'd check them out, Audio guy got the audio rack keys, Light guy got the keys to the catwalks and lighting storage areas. All these instances were, however, strictly monitored and if you didn't turn the keys back in there was hell to pay.
    This system works in a lot of situations but as a rule if you asked me, " should I have keys?" simple answer, "no" as to the second<' Should I have a key to turn off the power to the booth?" to Coin a phrase," Hell no!"
    if for no other reason than, if you kill the power to the booth all your computer operated items will then be running off their internal batteries and super caps, this put undo stress on the components, and wouln't you feel bad if everytime you turned the poweer back on you had to completely re-patch?
     
  16. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Krannert Center at UofI has a system like that. They have 50 or so lock boxes in the loading dock, each with a theatre and a position on it. When you are working a show, you get the key that opens the box with the keys in it. No one, even the top brass, leaves the building with a set of building keys. Also, this allows them to easily revoke keys by simply changing out one core.

    Depending on the age of the building and how it was cored there could be 50 keys for your building or one. Most of my campus is one key that we all get. Luckly the theatre has different cores, one exterior and one interior, so I don't have to worry about an english teacher wondering around in my space. One more reason not to give students keys, if they lose them who knows how many locks have to be changed. If I lose my keys, its a 500 dollar charge of my paycheck with all the re-core work that has to be done.
     
  17. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Me personally, I don't want keys. I liked being able to check them out when I came to work in order to get to the places I needed to go, but I never wanted to have them personally checked out. Why? Well, if something goes wrong, they don't come looking at you. One of the theaters I was working in had someone come in and steal equipment and do a lot of vandalization. I was thankful that I hadn't accepted keys when offered to me. It doesn't matter how much you are trusted, you automatically become suspect when something happens. Unless you are 18 (legally an adult) I agree with the "Hell no" of giving out keys, especially to power relays, because you can't be held legally responsible. Once you can, go ahead and petition for it, because then you have the right to be held liable for whatever happens. Your decision.
     
  18. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I agree with the general consensus of the booth. NO keys. It is just to much of a liability for the school. It is just generally bad policy. Your director / TD / Teacher should be locking everything up each night or unlocking each day as a matter of good policy. It is a good way to force them to walk through the space everyday as a small means to keep tabs on things.

    ~Dave
     
  19. renegadeblack

    renegadeblack Active Member

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    I appreciate the feedback on the having keys, there seems to be a wide spectrum of what you all think, for those of you who were saying what would be accessed, it would only be the booth. Also, we did mention to them that I would be able to get a system for free (family member works for a major lock company) that would allow them to specify when we were allowed access. The reason that it was such a problem is that we before had a tech advisor who was never around so it was an hour long hunt to find someone who did have keys. As for who would have keys besides myself? The other kid who is in charge of sound. It's not as important now that we would, but before things were near impossible.

    As for the second bit about power, I'm not looking for a key for a power relay for the entire **** thing :) At my middle school (though they got an over haul and things are probably no longer the same) they had a key that turned on their lighting system, it was friggin old, all analog dimmers. I'm looking to see if there's something similar that could be implemented for a dmx system. Any one know of something along those lines?
     
  20. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    If, as you say, there are only a few people in the building who have keys to the booth why do you need to key out your lighting console? Who is going to touch it that doesn't have permission? Besides, chances are the people who currently have keys to your booth would be the people who would get the keys to the lighting system. Besides, as soon as the band or choir teacher comes in and can't turn on the lights they will also be issued a key. So it is kind of a moot point.
     

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