With last year’s Sandy Hook school massacre and other high-profile incidents, e the demand for new security solutions in schools became undeniable. The real question is how to achieve safer schools without turning them into fortresses and how to satisfy the burning need for security improvements with limited assets. Some of the initial reactions after Sandy Hook included an immediate increase in security personnel, hiring consultants to assess security plans,
and discussed bills proposing arming teachers, shoring up the security of school buildings, and adding guards or police officers.
Financially,it’s impossible to do it all, but there are many changes that can be implemented as a “one time investments’ in a cost effective manner.
And with the summer vacation
approaching, now is the best time to address these issues and start the new school year with a plan in place.
Here’s what’s worth considering
- Equipping all classrooms with doors that can be locked from the inside by the classroom teacher.
- Adding doors that connect classrooms – this solution can make it easier for teachers to work as teams, and in a dangerous situation, makes it easier for them to move students to safer areas.
- Equipping exterior doors with hardware capable of a full-perimeter lockdown.
- Designing glassed hallways would not only allow teachers and other adults in the schools to see an intruder but also to combat problems such as bullying.
- Developing cooperation between schools and architects to establish ongoing construction programs that address security improvements.
- Making safety updates mandatory – schools security should be treated similarly to fire safety: established standards, codes, regularly conducted drills, and practiced responses.
- Enhancing security cameras and working radios to help administrators and teachers communicate during crucial moments when an intruder penetrates school grounds.
Other simple and practical measures for safer schools can be found on the ‘Safe and Sound’ website – an initiative started by Sandy Hook parents to help communities improve their school security plans. Visit to find tools, resources, food for thought, and a forum for discussion.
*This post is based on a CNN’s article, ‘Six months after Sandy Hook shootings, schools seek secure redesigns.