There is much to learn about this recent trend of school shootings. We can implement ways to boost security to help prevent, or at least reduce an attack by a shooter.
There is no perfect way to stop an armed and determined attacker; however there are practices that will help secure your K-5 school entrances. The object of these strategies is to limit your entry points to delay an intruder for police to respond and for school administrators to communicate with teachers and campus staff. At this time the school can be on lockdown and/or evacuate the students, depending on the situation.
Here are some methods you should consider:
- Determine all entry points on site
- Fences or high barriers that are difficult to climb are recommended.
- It is recommended to have access control (card readers) on all classroom doors. The office staff or chosen administrators can remotely lock the doors in case of a lockdown
- Try to limit open doors but if it’s a must then entrances should be monitored by teachers, security staff and/or administrators.
- During school hours, the front office should be the only point of entry or exit from the campus. All of the other doors should be closed and locked.
- Visitors should be forced to go to the front office to check in.
- An intercom system with a camera should be installed to verify the identity of the guest(s) and their reason for entering the campus.
- Provide office staff with some form of emergency notification so they can identify the problem and let the corresponding authorities know.
- Provide office staff with a panic alarm they can activate during an emergency.
- Be certain that all staff members are informed about individuals who might pose a threat (involving custody disputes, domestic violence, etc.).
- Schools should have relationships with first responders (police, fire and EMS) to conduct drills and/or exercises so campus staff can practice emergency preparedness skills.
- Use radio frequency access control devices for rapid entry onto campus grounds by emergency responders.
One good thing about K-5 is that the facilities are much smaller and easier to control than larger middle and high schools and of course colleges/universities.
There is no assurance or guarantee that these security methods will be 100% effective against any motivated assailant. However these practices are intended to interrupt the attacker long enough for police to respond and for the school administrators and teachers to communicate with all parties that are involved. With these security measures in place a school can prevent a major catastrophe.