School Security Measures
August 20, 2013
School Security Measures
As I have heard several times in several places “It’s time to do something and not form another taskforce or study the problem any longer. We need to do something to protect our kids”. But it seems like all we (as parents), the media, government, law enforcement, & schools ever want to do is wring our hands and say ‘woe is me’.
In my book ‘Never to Grow-Up: Preventing Violence in our Schools’ I listed several ways we can protect our kids while they are at school. This will protect them from not the just the outsider but also from the internal threats of bullying and fist fights, mostly.
So what are some of those measures that schools can take to safeguard our children while they are in their care? Here is a small list;
- Lock all the doors when school is in session
- All non-students must sign in/out – even trusted school district personnel and have an ID badge that is visible at all times
- NO Exceptions to having doors left propped open to allow ‘easier access
Security & Patrols:
- When not absorbed with other duties then ALL school personnel should patrol the school
- Walk thru the grounds looking for anything ‘unusual’ or out of place
- This can have 2 good effects
Letting ne’r do wells know someone is observing the grounds
Letting everyone get a better view and reference points of the campus
- Hire security personnel or get parents to patrol the grounds and perimeter
- Discuss opening a police sub-station in a small office near the entrance (they will be grateful)
- No windows in doors without safety/bullet resistant glass
- Locks on classroom doors that allow teachers to lock their charges in
- Evacuation measures i.e. chain ladders for 2nd floor & higher classrooms
- Remote locks so the main office can lock any door at any time
- NO sidelite windows next to entry doors larger than 1’X5’
Teach the teachers, staff, janitors, and everybody else that works at the school how to confront someone who doesn’t seem like they belong at the school. This may be uncomfortable to most, but if a potential perpetrator is confronted, chances are they won’t follow through.
Teach everyone, from students to parents to staff what the warning signs are of a kid who may ‘Go Columbine’. By learning these signs and enforcing them, then we can head off some incidents. Not all, nothing is ever guaranteed, but most.
‘Buy-in’ from Everyone:
Again, from students to parents, to staff need to be involved in preventing violence. It’s not just the responsibility for the school or government. It’s an issue that affects all of us and needs to be handled by ALL of us.
From sharing information (that in many times isn’t for fear of retribution by administrators, parents, or students), ‘cracking down’ on those kids and parents who fail to properly do the necessary things, and not making excuses or allowing a door to remain open ‘just this once’.
Train, train, train:
Take the time to train all students, faculty, administrators, janitors, and people in the building what to do if you have an active shooter situation. If you have visitors (of any kind) they must also follow the exercise at the same time. It doesn’t matter how important ‘they think they are’, they need to follow and be a part of the exercise.
These are just a few of the things that we can all do to ensure safety and security amongst our kids while they are traveling to and from school and while they are there. As parents we need to ensure that we uphold the discipline the school metes out, even if we don’t necessarily agree. Together we can all keep our kids safer in the 2nd place they should be safest.
None of us wants our schools to become ‘citadels on the hill’, available to only a few who are chosen’. And we certainly don’t want them to be like a prison or ‘gulag’. But we need to harden these targets as best as we can with the limited resources we can get – taxes, state funds, or volunteers/donations.
Want to hear or know more about preventing violence in our schools? Call us for a seminar, talk to us in a consultation, or buy the book on Amazon! 480-251-5197