Where to start with school security.

Old School_House_
Old School_House_ (Photo credit: Total Mayhem)

Fact of the matter is. If you are serious about school safety 99% of them need to be torn down, re-designed and re-built. The days of “walk into your local school house/open and welcoming design” are gone….IMO a start would be:

-A buzzer opened door that leads directly into the school is BAD. People WILL need to come and go from a school for many legitimate reasons. What schools should have is what many PD’s have. A front desk area where you can do routine tasks through bullet-proof glass. If you need to come in to see admin you get buzzed into the admin area which is separate from the school area. If you need to get into the school proper you are let in from there.

-Exterior door and ground floor window glass cant be breached by some kid with a rifle.

-Interior classroom doors are always closed and locked during class…and the doors are “unkickable” and designed so that a person with a gun cant break out glass and reach in.

-Someone in the school, be it a full time SRO, a trained guard, or trained staff needs access to a weapon as an emergency tool.

10 thoughts on “Where to start with school security.”

  1. Around this area, especially at the lower grade school buildings, ‘access control’ is nothing more than a multi-tasking main office secretary who runs to the intercom box and/or web cam and clicks the door open after a few very cursory questions (or just clicks the button without asking as has happened a few times for me)….

    Access control has to be taken seriously – even in our ‘austerity budget’ funding for schools…

    1. Exactly. The “simple” solution is have a politician pass a law…everybody feels good but nothing substantial changes. Real security is going to cost money. Lets see if people are ready to put up or shut up when it comes to making changes that could prevent another Newtown.

      1. I doubt it honestly… You have school age kids so you know what its like to have your tuition/tax dollars going to fund education… yet you still have to provide snacks, school supplies, participate in fund raisers, volunteer time… all to fill out the gaps that the school budget doesn’t seem to cover… and that isn’t even considering the ‘austerity’ issue with Fed funding/grants… Schools used Federal Grant funding has been going to build new gyms, theaters, tech rooms… but I haven’t seen any local schools put that money toward ‘hardening’ their buildings IMO.

  2. Hey Tgace I do not think people are ready for “real security” at schools anymore than they really want great airport security alla Israeli style. It is unfortunate but it probably is just that way. I do agree with you though that schools need to be redesigned similarly to how you mentioned. Though I do not think the public will ever go for it!

    1. I know…they will probably get their politicians to pass some legislation that makes them feel like they accomplished something and carry on.

      Till the next incident happens…

  3. What would you think of equipping schools with non-lethal weapons? Any teacher with access to them would still need training, but there might be less resistance by the “don’t put guns in my school” crowd. If the teachers who had charged at the Newtown shooter had had bean-bag launchers, they would have had a much better chance of stopping him.

    1. If I’m faced with a lethal threat, I’m going to respond with whatever means necessary to survive and eliminate the threat. By eliminating the option to respond with at least equivalent level of force, you are greatly reducing the chances of survival.

      To compound the situation, the vast majority of population of the schools (students), will be unable to defend them selves in these scenarios. Any response to a deadly threat needs to be quick and decisive.

      The purposed of a bean bag gun is to provide a method to subdue a person, when lethal force is not justified, while minimizing the chance of a physical altercation by staying out of their sphere of physical influence. In this situation, lethal force would be justified, and you are already within the attacker’s sphere of physical influence.

      The only logical and effective response to a imminent lethal threat, is the threat and\or use of lethal force, applied as necessary, to eliminate the threat.

  4. What would you think of keeping something like bean-bag-launchers accessible to trained school personnel? Not that I think teachers shouldn’t be able to carry handguns like any other law-abiding-citizen, but this might be more easily achieved politically.

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