The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Staff Raise Concerns about Safety and Security Outsourcing


Members of the Niles West community have raised concerns about guards being outsourced with unfair working conditions and minimal benefits. These issues have been a conversation since 2021 and continue to resurface at D219 board meetings.

Social Studies teacher Daniel Kosiba served on a districtwide safety task force and continues to discuss security and safety during public comment at board of education meetings.

“We spend so much money training and replacing people. And that’s wasted because those people immediately leave [since] the job pays so little and the conditions are so bad. Sometimes you get people who shouldn’t even be working in schools, and that’s a safety issue which we’ve encountered several times where people get fired because they’re being inappropriate with students,” history teacher Daniel Kosiba said.

West’s security is outsourced, meaning they are employed by a private company but come to work at West. Many staff members believe outsourcing leads to lower pay and increased turn over. The aforementioned safety task force comprised of D219 staff, parents, and community members formed in 2020 to make recommendations on how to keep West safe for students with an SRO and security team. They suggested security be in-housed by the district, instead of hiring a company.

“All of us unanimously voted on having security being in-housed, so that is one thing that we really wanted, everyone was on board because if you have…people [who] are in your school district, not part of an outside program or source, then you have capabilities of having them be trained and do different things and they get benefits and they have less turnover,” P.E. teacher Nicole Reynolds said. 

Today, the Task Force no longer exists. Teachers like Kosiba continue to advocate for in-housing security for the safety of students and to offer better working conditions at D219 board meetings.

“None of the recommendations that we proposed have been implemented, or even like talked about, so to spend a year doing all of that…we shouldn’t even use words like equity and unity if we’re not going to treat the people who are in charge of keeping us safe,” Kosiba said.

Over the span of one semester, approximately 100 security guards have been trained and since then departed. This turnover rate exposes a rapid cycle of recruitment and resignation. 

“There are a handful of people that have stayed around but for the most part, it’s just been a revolving door because it’s hard to keep good people, and if someone just doesn’t want to deal with the system or whatever, they just leave,” Reynolds said.

Many security staff have expressed their frustration with the roles they work in. 

“I feel like the job is not hard itself, it’s just the lack of acknowledgment when it comes to life expenses and lack of raises,” a security guard who wished to remain anonymous said. Other security guards declined to comment for this story, citing fear of repercussions. 

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