I need some input on this please...preschool security plan

This is a discussion on I need some input on this please...preschool security plan within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My church operates a preschool for approximately 20 children in a rural community. As a member of the board of trustees I have brought the ...

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Thread: I need some input on this please...preschool security plan

  1. #1
    Member Array divkat9's Avatar
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    I need some input on this please...preschool security plan

    My church operates a preschool for approximately 20 children in a rural community. As a member of the board of trustees I have brought the issue of security to the table.
    While everyone is in agreement that a security plan is necessary, not everyone sees eye to eye. I have advocated that in most circumstances the correct action is to get as far away from the threat as possible as opposed to locking down in a room. As you can imagine there is some resistance to that notion.
    The children range from age 2 to 5 with 2-3 employees and the preschool consists of 2 or 3 rooms in one hallway with entrance/exits on either end of the hall in addition to numerous entrance/exits elsewhere in the building. There is no surveillance or alarm system(other than fire alarms) in place.
    A camera system for the church that patches into a harddrive recording device is in the works. I've convinced the majority that a visual deterrence such as a camera system can help to an extent.
    As I mentioned before the great debate is about whether to evacuate or lockdown.
    I need some help with my side of the argument proving that for them to stay in one room in the building could be tragic. Any factual information or credible research would be greatly appreciated!

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
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    IMO, I wouldn't want to try to keep up with 20 running kids for fear of leaving someone behind. Trying to get them to go all at the same time to a specific place, while trying to figure out the who,what, where, and how many. I would want to get to the First room to barricade in, call the calvary, and cover the door, this is assuming your armed!!
    If you don't carry in church... never mind carry!
    I know that's not on your side but, God forbid if something does happen the one thing you can be sure of is it going to happen fast!
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    Senior Member Array HowardCohodas's Avatar
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    Here is a resource you might find helpful.

    STATE AND LOCAL SCHOOL EMERGENCY PLANNING GUIDES

    NCEF's resource list of plans, guidelines, manuals, and checklists developed by school districts and state education offices to assist schools in preparing for and responding to emergency and disaster situations.

    NCEF Resource List: State and Local School Emergency Planning Guides
    Howard
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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Typically I'm against the whole lockdown concept, but I think with 2-5 year olds it could be difficult to keep them in some kind of order while evacuating. I don't think I'd want them running willie-nillie, which you know every bunch has it's loopy apple.

    If it does come down to someone agreeing on the evacuation plan you could start doing weekly or monthly drills with the kids just like they do in grade school in various states for Tornado's, fire, earthquakes, etc...

    If it comes down to agreeing on the lockdown concept, have them agree on solidifying the doors or even armoring them. Place furniture/cabinetry in the room that from the inside can be easily used to barricade etc... Do you have alternate exit routes if you lockdown (ie: windows, secondary rooms, etc...). What kind of walls/architecture are you dealing with? Does it even make sense to solidify the doors more? If you're dealing with cheap paper-thin walls the obvious answer is that solidifying your doors is pointless.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

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    Member Array divkat9's Avatar
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    Well, thanks all for the ideas.
    As to not evacuating 20 2-5 year old children because they are hard to control, I have to disagree because after all if there is a fire in the building they would have to evacuate then-
    I do agree that it is difficult at best to control 20 children under any emergency circumstances but that's why you practice, just like fire drills, tornado drills, etc.

    As far as carrying at the church- I'm just the guy that brought this all up. I'm not at the Church on a daily basis.

    The preschool administrator's answer to me when asked about this was that she has a room that she can lock themselves in. Unfortunately it has a window and no other exit. In addition the preschool is located in a short hallway. She does agree that that could put them in a difficult position.
    I think there are some instances where both ideas have merit and I'm trying to do the research that will allow me to formulate a better plan of action for them.
    Also, we are in a rural area with very slow response times.

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    The difference is that with the building on fire you have no choice BUT, to evacuate.
    It's the only real option for a fire.

    I think ideally you should harden one room and set it up as a "safe room" rather than attempt an evacuation of kids that young.

    Just my personal opinion on that.

    I'm sure that there are some church members who would volunteer to do the work.
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    Member Array divkat9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    The difference is that with the building on fire you have no choice BUT, to evacuate.
    It's the only real option for a fire.

    I think ideally you should harden one room and set it up as a "safe room" rather than attempt an evacuation of kids that young.

    Just my personal opinion on that.

    I'm sure that there are some church members who would volunteer to do the work.
    I like that idea and will try to pursue that as well, unfortunately there will be some resistance to the idea- as a matter of fact there is and will be resistance to any ideas about the whole matter, which is both ignorant and sad.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I feel that the best solution would be to build a safe room and make it sound proof ,problem with running from danger is ,you may be running to danger.Also drills are great, but in a real crisis those kids are not gonna react the same,I don't think locking down a room with windows and sheetrock walls will stop a BG
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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    You say that you're a proponent of evacuating. My question is, evacuate to where? Just running with no ultimate, secure destination, with 20 odd youngsters, from a threat that may very well be able to chase you if he/she so desires, doesn't strike me as prudent.

    The defender always has the tactical advantage, especially when they've had the opportunity to prepare their position. You have that opportunity now and I think you should take advantage of it. I would build a plan that can be executed very quickly around a single, secure, defensible position.

    The .02 of a military man......FWIW.

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    Member Array divkat9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
    You say that you're a proponent of evacuating. My question is, evacuate to where? Just running with no ultimate, secure destination, with 20 odd youngsters, from a threat that may very well be able to chase you if he/she so desires, doesn't strike me as prudent.

    The defender always has the tactical advantage, especially when they've had the opportunity to prepare their position. You have that opportunity now and I think you should take advantage of it. I would build a plan that can be executed very quickly around a single, secure, defensible position.

    The .02 of a military man......FWIW.
    Being a military man myself I can appreciate your response. I didn't advocate running to an unsecured location. The preschool van is 20yds outside the door(s) and there is a volunteer fire station/EMS building approx. 250yds from the church.
    Once again- I like the idea of a hardened room but there are cons to that as well- such as:
    Is the threat between the kids and the safe room? (this can be applied to evacuation as well which is why I see the need to plan for both)
    Can you get 20 kids in a panic to follow you to the designated room?
    If the threat locks the building down while kids are in the safe room- where does that put the situation?

    Response times in this community can be up to half an hour or more-

    I think a plan that would allow for evacuation -or- relocating to a secure room would be good. There are nine entrance/exits in the building and as hard as they try to keep them all locked it just never happens. It's ridiculous and there are too many people with keys but that's another fight altogether.

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    I would say go with both. Have a safe room as plan #1 and an Evac as plan #2 in case the safe room can not be used for what ever reason.

    there really is no such thing as to much redundancy or planing when it comes to something like this.
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    Member Array Rev9mm's Avatar
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    Evacuating:

    Yes, have a specific place to go ahead of time and make sure that place both knows and approves of that plan. Our church is the evacuation site for the Head Start program across the street. If anything goes bad over there, they have permission to evacuate over to here.

    Staying put:
    Man . . . just TRY getting a group of 2-5 year olds running together. Simply . . . not . . . gonna . . . happen. 2yo's simply can't run that fast. Some 5yo's can be pretty dang quick. I don't see crossing a street and still remaining together AND safe is going to be a viable option if something crazy goes down. Frankly, I think you're going to lose someone along the way, and then when that happens you'll feel completely awful.

    If you've got a high enough adult-kid ratio you could have each adult pack a kid under each arm and hoof it out of there, but if you're relying on the kids' little feet to carry them to safety . . . well, let's just say that as a parent I wouldn't feel safe with your plan.

    YMMV. Obviously the best plans are both well thought out AND flexible.

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    Lock down makes the most sense. As stated 2-5 yr olds are not going to stay together and them out in the open could just make them bigger targets in more danger.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Member Array divkat9's Avatar
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    Okay- if lock down is the best option what do you do if the threat is between you and the safe room?

    Additionally- If four adults can mind 20 kids in a fire drill why couldn't they do the same to get them out the door and 20yds to a van to be driven away from the scene? I'm not saying evac is the answer everytime but I can certainly see where it could be an option.

    I have two kids myself and I understand it can be difficult to keep those with an age difference together.

    Please understand that I'm only doing this to promote discussion at the church and hopefully open some eyes and pull some heads out of the sand. It is my hope that some plan can be collectively formulated and put into use.

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    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by divkat9 View Post
    Okay- if lock down is the best option what do you do if the threat is between you and the safe room?
    .
    If it's an armed gunman....shoot him or pray!
    If a crazed father is about to lose his kids and walks in the door to kill them and himself, along with whoever is in the way, when will you know!
    If it's not until he's in the room with you..Half will be running and half will hide!
    There is a reason we have all heard about plan A, plan B, plan C.. Plans don't always work.
    Good luck!
    GUN CONTROL= I WANT TO BE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF THE GUN

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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