Simple solutions can enhance school safety


It’s hardly three   months since I started researching and recently published an article on school safety for School Planning & Management Magazine. During that short time, I saw reports of multiple school shooting incidents, with the latest happening in Colorado. Just days before the nation mourned the first anniversary of Sandy Hook,we’ve been traumatized by another shooting.

Here is what I’ve learned  talking to parents, school safety experts, architects and designers:

  1. Schools are an integral part of  our community but sometimes they trade security for convenience.  According to national safety expert, Paul Timm,  “Don’t install a burglar alarm after the home gets burglarized.” Staff should get adequate  training so that they can be proactive when reacting to bad situations.   The janitor in the latest Colorado shooting did something very proactive when he escorted the targeted school teacher out of the campus.
  2. School district officials will always tell you they don’t have money. However, beyond money, what we need is a culture of well-being in a school where administrators, staff, students, parents, school resource officers, and inexpensive, low-tech devices can keep schools safe.
  3. Staff, students and administrators must be aware of their surroundings. This can deter crime.
  4. If you are a parent, please talk to your kids. Most parents have a tendency to blame the school system for everything that goes wrong from academic performance to security. I think we need to have a school exclusively for good parenting.
  5. We need to do some intensive profiling of perpetrators of violence in schools. What makes them snap? And, why do most of them die like cowards killing themselves?

The complete article published in School Planning & Management Magazine is available here: Examining all factors in school safety.

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