Over the years it has bothered me to see what educators call security. After the school shootings, we’ve seen more and more money spent on improvements in the name of security that do not really increase the security levels nor secure students. The concepts of security have always been DETER-DETECT-DELAY-RESPOND. In schools the concept of deterrence is achieved more by procedures of qualifying people on campus than by cameras that nobody is watching. Most school campuses I have been on are open and porous, which would take more money than schools have or could get to secure. In this article I want to talk more about the detect, delay and respond elements IN THE CLASSROOM.
When building or renovating a classroom, there are a couple of invisible security elements that can be implemented to help secure students in the classroom regardless of age. Items that should be included when securing a classroom are the door, the windows, having a second way out, and electronic panic buttons that are interlocked with locking hardware. Implementing these security components along with a solid wall composition allow every classroom to be better protected by providing a delay to a possible threat and allowing time for responders to resolve the threat. Doing any one of these elements without the other does not increase security levels.
I am hoping schools will realize that there is little point in putting in cameras if nobody is watching them and ready to respond. It’s the hope that schools will plan their funds for security and obtain items like access control that will provide the interlock between a panic button and the door locking hardware, and then utilize video for forensic value to see what happened after the event.