Segway entertains, provides efficient transportation


Photo by John Gillis

Alyssa Sykuta

School Resource Officer Keisha Edwards teaches math teacher Peter Willett how to use a Segway. The Columbia Police Department is allowing Hickman and Rock Bridge high schools to borrow their two Segways as CPD is not using them for the winter. Photo by John Gillis
Thanks to the Columbia Police Department, students may behold an entertaining sight on their trip to the bathroom.
While most people build relationships by striking up a conversation, School Resource Officer Keisha Edwards prefers to do things differently, utilizing a new piece of equipment and rolling around the halls of RBHS.
“The Police Department has two Segways … and since it’s wintertime they’re just sitting in the police department, and no one is using them, so they thought it would be a good idea that they get used in the high schools,” Edwards said. “So they asked me if I wanted to use one and I was like, ‘Yeah!’ … The kids get to see a Segway up close and personal; they think it’s cool. I think it’s cool; it’s a good conversation piece. After all, my job here is to build relationships with students, what better piece to build a relationship?”
Though the Segway draws attention from students and teachers alike, the transportation method also serves an additional purpose, Edwards said. The machine allows her to be more mobile with her job and ensure a safe environment around the school more quickly than walking.
“Yesterday I actually went over to the Career Center so the administration and the staff could see that I have a Segway, and so if I need to get over there quickly this is just one of the tools I can use versus having to sprint to run over there.  Now it’s just a matter of me getting on the Segway and riding over there,” said Edwards of the machine that can go 12.5 miles per hour. “I see this to be a very productive tool. Yesterday I went to the football field. I went to the baseball field, the Career Center. I kind of rolled the entire campus, and so now I get to be the eyes and ears for the entire campus not just the inside of the school.”
Though Edwards said students will not be allowed to ride the Segway because of liability issues, she is not the only one enjoying her temporary tool; Edwards said Assistant Principal David Bones rides the Segway just as much as she does, coming to her office to seek out the entertaining technology.
“At first it’s a little unsettling, but it surely didn’t take me long to get a feel for it. It’s kind of a blast. Officer Edwards kind of took me through it, gave me some of the simple basics on how to ride it and then stood with me as I took my first steps and then I took off,” Bones said. “Tricky parts for me so far that I’ve found is any time I go over a bump, like a threshold between doors, and then small spaces, like getting in between doors is a little tricky. It takes a little getting used to.”
By Alyssa Sykuta
additional reporting by Anna Wright and Maria Kalaitzandonakes