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How to Make High School Campuses Safer

The heartbreaking Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida created various factions that have taken their concerns to Congress and the White House. While the media has mostly focused on the political angle of these factions, there is a shared interest related to increasing campus security. Some of the proposed measures in this regard, such as arming teachers, have resulted in controversial headlines. Following are a few objective, reasonable, and actionable measures to make schools safer for students and staff members.

Define School Perimeters

Many schools in urban areas already feature fencing and other barriers that clearly define perimeters. However, this is often not the case in suburban and rural communities. There is more to defining perimeters than just installing fences. Perimeters should also be monitored for the purpose of taking action when barriers are breached. Fencing is effective in terms of limiting access to a single point of entry.

Utilize Double-Entry Systems

When San Jose security guards are posted at subsequent entry points, potential intruders are more easily dissuaded. Ideally, this double-entry system will be manned when students arrive and leave the campus. When classes are in session, the outer entrance can be equipped with an intercom.

Train Guards in Intruder Response

One of the most criticized aspects of the Florida school shooting was the inadequate reaction by an armed sheriff’s deputy during the incident. Nonetheless, the gunman was spotted on campus before he started shooting. Handling intruders is now a strong focus of security guard training these days, and this is not limited to reacting to active shooter situations. For example, if a newspaper reporter carrying a notepad wanders into a school, security guards will know how to approach the individual without immediately resorting to the use of force.

Install Adequate Glass at School Entrances

Quite a few American schools are rethinking the use of panoramic windows and glass doors at their entrances. First of all, the material should be high-impact resistant glass. Second, visibility should be functional, meaning security guards should be able to see from the inside instead of making it easy for anyone on the outside to look inside the building.

Add Panic Buttons to Classrooms

Schools should not rely solely on administrators to contact police from their front offices. Security guards and teachers should also be able to activate panic buttons as long as they are properly trained to use them. Naturally, the location of these emergency devices should be privy to those who are authorized to use them.

Train Faculty in Situational Awareness Training

While security guards assigned to schools will have undergone this training, it should be extended to teachers and other staff members. When properly taught, situational awareness becomes a rational attitude more than just an acquired skill, and it can go a long way toward making sure adverse situations are detected early.

If you need professional guards to protect a school, get in touch with ADS Guards, a reliable security company. San Jose residents have placed their trust in our services for nearly two decades. For a free quote, call 1-800-794-1550 today.