Hardening K-12 school facilities: suggestions?

This is a discussion on Hardening K-12 school facilities: suggestions? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; What would you suggest might be practical and effective steps for hardening facilities such as K-12 type school property? While public spaces can be very ...

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Question Hardening K-12 school facilities: suggestions?

    What would you suggest might be practical and effective steps for hardening facilities such as K-12 type school property?

    While public spaces can be very difficult to harden such that BG's are kept out, I would think the "closed" nature of (K-12) school facilities offer at least some hope of having practical steps that could result in significantly improved ability to withstand violent entry/attack.

    Suggestions? Such as ... perimeter/door security; locked interior doors to rooms and key areas; "safe" rooms or egress paths; active/positive identification of all visitors, done in a hardened/protected "entry" zone; guards; armed administrators/faculty; whatever else you can envision as practical safety enhancement.

    For any suggestions, let's focus on what's practical that has a hope of yielding actual security enhancements, not merely the typical "doing something" proposals that don't have any practical efficacy. Let's keep it non-political and keep focus on the steps themselves.

    Discuss.
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    Senior Member Array KBSR's Avatar
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    I advocate, and have been advocating the hardening of "soft targets" (malls, theaters, schools) since 9-11. It only stands to reason that we're going to see more and more of these incidents, if not by mental defectives, than certainly by terrorists. We don't need to stand by and let it happen. It's a damn shame that our schools need to be constructed/retrofitted to be more like military bases and/or prisons, but it's really the only way we're going to be able to harden these otherwise easy target locations. Multiple perimeters, real locks on real security doors, and ingress/egress control are steps in the right direction. Training and arming those that are willing to take on those collateral duties will contribute as well. Doing away with the fairy tale "Gun Free Zones". All a gun free zone does is give the BG the confidence that his/her atrocious action will not be met with appropriate violence, until a response can be generated. We all know that action is faster then reaction. We don't see many, read ANY of these mass shootings at gun ranges do we? Cowards like to have the odds in their favor. It's time we change those odds. Good post. Hope people offer constructive input. I too mourn for and pray for the victims of yesterdays horrific crime. But not talking about solutions is akin to sticking our heads in the sand, IMHO. Be safe.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Double fences with razor wire,double entry doors/sally port,once kids are inside all entry gates are closed and monitored,armed guard checks anybody into first gated area, any bags etc are searched,upon clearing second gate is buzzed open from inside,same procedure for vehicles,Video surveillance of entire perimeter.This would stop the mass shooter scenario,but not the standoff long range shooter that may shoot several people then relocate and shoot again,
    I was talking to a teacher and all the Middle and High Schools here have single 8 ft high chain link fences around the perimeter,but visitors can walk into the front part of the building and gain access,but the elementary schools have no fencing around them at all since they figure nobodys gonna cause trouble there like any Gang type activity
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    Member Array troutkiller's Avatar
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    From what little I've read about the elementary school in Newton, the principal had just implemented a new security system and visitors had to be buzzed in. Personally, I think it is a bad idea to make schools into prisons but maybe that's what it's coming to.

    The killer was a head case and I think this country needs to take a long look at the treatment model of psychotropic drugs we throw at the mentally-ill and particualrly how we label children. We need to know more about the killer's medical history and if he was on ADHD drugs like ritalin as a child.

    An old girlfriend of mine had her son on ritalin or something like it when he was 11 or 12 and was just absolutely sold on it. I felt very bad for her son and will always wonder what his chances are going forward. My sister is a speech and hearing therapist in public schools and is an adamant defender of schools pushing children into these types of treatments.

    This may sound cruel, but to what extent do school systems bring events like that in Newton yesterday on themselves?
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    VIP Member Array Ksgunner's Avatar
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    I don't think turning our schools into Prisons is the answer to anything. Allowing teachers to carry concealed and train them in self defense would go a long way towards making schools safer. I think an armed guard would probably be the first on shot when the bad guys come in. Finding a teacher willing to carry might be hard to do though.

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    I agree that we shouldn't look at making schools into reverse prisions but I do think that some fairly basic things would go a long way to making our schools safer.

    First off, controlled access. All of our schools here have a locked door security system. You are buzzed in and then you can only proceed into the office area. How much would it take to make the entrance into the actual school hardened by using second locked door? You have legitimate need and you are buzzed through that door too. I realize that if you had multiple assailants, one could manipulate the buzzer but there are ways of quickly disabling the doors and anything that slows someone down would have benefit.

    Also, I am all for armed law enforcement in every school. It could be done in a subtle way but we should have at least one armed professional at each school and I'd happily see my taxes increase for that purpose. I also believe that educators and administrators should have to option of being armed. Just one armed adult in that building could have significantly changed the bottom line.
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    Senior Member Array KBSR's Avatar
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    Our schools here in MS have armed "resource officers" on every campus. Deputy sheriffs or police officers, depending on the location. Some friends of mine have these jobs, and are real busy dealing with the day to day issues, particularly on the high school campuses. One gun beats the hell out of none, but I'd opt for training and arming volunteers within each campus as well.

    I also happen to be friends with a number of teachers, and you might be surprised how much in favor of this some of them are. All of our teachers, at least here in the deep south, aren't bleeding heart liberals. Many of these teachers already use guns in their private lives, for protection and/or sporting purposes. Again, it's not for everyone, but for those that are willing to step up and take on this collateral duty, I say why not? We've armed a number of pilots, and I've met a lot of them while flying armed myself. There was a time there after that program first got started that it seemed like almost every flight I was on had a pilot or copilot or both that were armed.

    I think we need to take a hard look at it, realizing that it isn't Mayberry RFD, and that we live in a world where violence is ever present. It's up to us to take action to protect the sheep that can not protect themselves. You don't do that with laws against inanimate objects. It takes a good man with a gun to deal with a bad guy with a gun, and extreme violence carries the day. Ya'll be safe.
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    Senior Member Array foxytwo's Avatar
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    Arming and training teachers could stop a shooter before to many people were shot, possibly before anyone was shot. I would hope that enough teachers would be willing to take the training to conceal carry and additional training to qualify for carrying in schools, what ever that may be. If they put police in schools, it would most likely be only one to a school. How long would it take a policeman to find a shooter in a large school?
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    Member Array cayman_shen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksgunner View Post
    I don't think turning our schools into Prisons is the answer to anything. Allowing teachers to carry concealed and train them in self defense would go a long way towards making schools safer. I think an armed guard would probably be the first on shot when the bad guys come in. Finding a teacher willing to carry might be hard to do though.
    I am a high school teacher, and yesterday I emailed my state rep to suggest the elimination of gun free school zones and that trained and ccw licensed teachers ought to be allowed to concealed carry. Furthermore, I often talk about firearms responsibility and concealed carry with my students (when we're not in class of course. Class time is literature time!).
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    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    I think one of the biggest deterrents would be the idea that armed resistance may be encountered. In this regard, a low profile approach could work just as well as a show of force. Having teachers and staff armed and prepared to actively respond to a situation would be an infinite improvement over the current tactic of tuck tail and cower in the corner while praying "please don't see me".

    The problem with access control is one of logistics. Schools by their very nature require mass ingress and egress in short periods of time. Metal detectors, bag scanners, and entry guards would help to cut down on students and staff bringing in contraband but wouldn't stop an armed aggressor, who may simply up the force level to compensate. Someone who intends harm is not going to try to go through the obvious barrier. On the other hand, this does mean that those who do NOT enter through the standard portal are a potential suspect and could be targeted for containment and active response.

    The schools should also prepare, plan, and drill for the response to these types of events. Safe areas, exit paths, means of cover, etc should be devised and the students should practice getting out and getting to safety. At the same time, care needs to be taken that one does not create a potential kill zone. For example, gathering the students behind a barrier in a confined space may work against a shooter, but would be a death trap against a thrown explosive.
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    Distinguished Member Array dben002's Avatar
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    Tragically there is no easy answer for this. With the high number of facilities and strapped city and state budgets the money is not there for high-tech security measures. But there are some things that could be done to deter this kind of incident. Controlled and monitored entry points is one. Second, only school employees and students allowed past entry points. All visitors and non school personnel restricted to one area, be it the office or a designated area. Third...If we can allow pilots to carry weapons to prevent highjacking we can allow school officials and teachers to carry to protect our children.
    KBSR likes this.
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    Member Array cayman_shen's Avatar
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    Hardening schools is part of the solution perhaps...but all it takes is one sniper outside and one pulled fire alarm inside to send everyone rushing into the line of fire. Not sure what the solution is to that one.
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    Distinguished Member Array tcox4freedom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksgunner View Post
    I don't think turning our schools into Prisons is the answer to anything. Allowing teachers to carry concealed and train them in self defense would go a long way towards making schools safer. I think an armed guard would probably be the first on shot when the bad guys come in. Finding a teacher willing to carry might be hard to do though.
    There are a number of teachers I know that CC and are trained well enough to protect their kids. But, they are not allowed to protect their own classrooms.

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    Distinguished Member Array dben002's Avatar
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    I have always been of the impression that most bad guys don't go where they know they are going to be shot at and possibly killed....so the answer seems obvious to me.......
    64zebra likes this.
    There are two types of people who carry concealed weapons...Responsible ones and Irresponsible ones...which are you...

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    Member Array Rhuarc3's Avatar
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    Hardening K-12 school facilities: suggestions?

    This was on Facebook. Found it to be very well said. Thought I'd share.https://www.facebook.com/BrimfieldPo...44677862227928


    🇺🇸 - Todd - 🇺🇸

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