Here's an interesting write-up, bringing up some design elements for the discussion ...
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design And Security Technology For Schools
CPTED Planning: Key Questions
Although the fine details of safe school planning can become overwhelmingly complex, an excellent
framework to start with can draw on the following eight questions:
- What risks and opportunities do students encounter between home and school? Regardless of school climate and architecture, if students traverse war zones to reach school, they are in danger. Even after reaching safe schools, high states of anxiety can compromise students’ ability to learn.
- What risks and opportunities are posed in areas directly adjoining school property? An offender looking for child victims can predict accessibility at these locations. Drug or alcohol outlets anywhere near a school increase the likelihood of substance-abuse fueled antisocial behavior.
- Can office staff observe approaching visitors before they reach the school entry? The office is the screening tool for most schools, expected to evaluate and direct visitors, bar undesirables, placate the disgruntled and generally solve problems. Most offices are poorly-sited to fulfill these roles.
- Do staff members have the physical ability to stop visitors from entering? Even if staff can see intruders approaching, can they really do anything about it? Are the doors already locked as a matter of course once school starts? How quickly and easily can staff lock all entries? Can staff protect themselves as well as the student body, or are they simply set up to be the first victims?
- How well can people see what's going on inside? Blind corners, alcoves and stairwells provide "cover," or hidden areas, for misbehavior.
- Do staff members have immediate lockdown capability in classrooms and other locations? For every indoor location, how do people call for help, make themselves safe, or protect students? Any room might have to serve as a haven during a crisis. Unfortunately, most would be very difficult to lock down, and only some have reliable communication devices. Most rooms will have outward opening doors. If the door is standing open during an emergency, a teacher will have to reach out into the hallway – which could be a dangerous location, with bullets flying – to pull the door closed. Even worse, she may have to insert a key on the outer, hallway side in order to lock the door. That means she will have to step into the hallway, extract a key ring, find the correct key and insert it into the lock – possibly while shots are being fired. Entrapment is also a risk. If an intruder blocks the classroom door, students will need a secondary escape route.
- Is the overall school climate pro-social? The dangers of an anti-social school climate far outweigh the benefits of a pro-social physical environment. In the extreme, a highly secure but effectively toxic school resembles nothing more than a prison.
- Are there identifiable or predictable trouble spots or high risk locations? Students often identify the entrance, any hallway or stairs, parts of the cafeteria and restrooms as hotspots. Each of these locations merits individual attention.
A detailed examination of each of these questions follows, in the linked PDF document (above).