District Administration August 2018 - 20

SecurityMatters
How to prevent attacks
and minimize damage
Key steps to hardening your school

Y

ou know the names. Marjory
Stoneman Douglas High
School, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Columbine High School,
Santa Fe High School and many more.
These examples of domestic terrorism
have heightened our awareness, making us feel vulnerable when entering a
school. Students are trained what to do
if a shooter opens fire in classrooms,
corridors and lunch rooms. They
worry not about that day's test, but
about staying alive.
Schools, once thought to be safe
havens for children, have become sites
of unimaginable horror.
And some think that a solution involves arming teachers.
Regardless of your opinions on gun
control, the numbers don't lie. From
January 1, 2009, to May 21, 2018,
there have been 288 school shootings.
Among the G7 nations, France is second with two school shootings during
that time frame. Among all other nations, Mexico is second with eight.
Until the issues of gun control,
school funding and increased on-site
police protection are sorted out, that
may be the norm for a while. But there
are steps schools and districts should
take to minimize damage and injuries,
and eliminate the loss of lives.
While each school is different, here
are the components of a basic plan that
provides added security for everyone
who enters.

DAmag.me/minimize

20 August 2018

By Daniel Venet

Train administrators,
teachers, staff and
students on what to
look out for. As the
saying goes, "If you
see something, say
something."

date floor plans with clearly, logically
identified locations of all entries, stairs,
elevators, rooms and lavatories. Those
locations should be labeled with photoluminescent signage, so they are easily identified, even in the dark.

Define the threat. Based on the layout
and location of the school-and frequency of occupancy and crowd density-try to determine those areas most
at risk, and what is the most likely
threat posed to them.
An armed intruder may threaten
forced entry, but it is far easier for someone to deposit a hand-carried explosive
device nearby, weaponizing window
glass and threatening everyone in the
vicinity with the exploding shards.

Education. Work with law enforcement to develop a way to continually
receive intelligence about trending
threats. And don't forget-security
works both ways. Train administrators,
teachers, staff and students on what
to look out for. As the saying goes, "If
you see something, say something."

Harden obvious weak points. This includes doorways and ground-floor windows-particularly those that may not
be visible from public roads and sidewalks. Real-time cameras covering the
perimeter of a school will provide immediate, vital information. Reinforced
entry doors and ground-level window
glass are effective in slowing forced
entry. Hardening upper-level windows
can secure building occupants against
glass-shrapnel injury in the event of a
blast from a small nearby bomb.
Know the building. Administrative,
security and custodial staff-and local
law enforcement-must have up-to-

Take away hiding places. Remove
hedges, bushes, garbage cans and other
obstacles that provide cover for an intruder or an explosive device.

Additional measures. Safety isn't free,
unfortunately, so be prepared to pay for:
* security personnel at entry points
* security cameras to monitor all areas
outside and within
* blast-mitigation window film
* metal detectors
No one likes to think of the threat
from an armed assailant in a school
building, but we don't have a choice.
We can contribute to our children's
safety with a thoughtful and comprehensive strategy as outlined above.
These measures may save lives and provide confidence that schools are doing
their part. DA
Daniel Venet is executive vice president of
CHB Industries, which consults with schools,
offices, government buildings, houses of
worships and homes on security issues.

District Administration


http://www.DAmag.me/minimize

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration August 2018

District Administration August 2018 - Cover1
District Administration August 2018 - Cover2
District Administration August 2018 - 1
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