Debunking some common school security myths
Many people falsely assume that standard school walls and doors will shelter them or their children from an active shooter. This couldn't be farther from the truth. A standard interior wall is constructed from two, half inch sheets of drywall with air between them. It has a 1 1/2" wide wood stud every 16 inches. Unfortunately as this VIDEO clearly demonstrates, standard walls and steel doors provide zero shelter from an active shooter!
If I lock the classroom door the active shooter can not get into the classroom. This is obviously totally false. Standard door locks are not bullet resistant let alone bulletproof and can not stand up to forced entry by an active shooter. In order to keep an active shooter out of a classroom there must be a solid core door with a security door block of some kind. Here is very simple, inexpensive idea for a security door block that can help keep threats out of the classroom during school lockdown.
If I buy my child one of the many new "bulleproof" backpacks being sold online they will be safe from an active shooter. The simple answer is probably not. Most of these backpacks are designed to only stop pistol rounds, NOT rifle rounds which are much, much more powerful. In addition they can only cover a portion of the body's vital organs. So if the active shooter is using a rifle most of these backpacks will be useless.
If we put a metal detector at the entrance to our school that will take care of the problem. Well it depends. If you put a metal detector at an entrance you obviously must also have armed security at the metal detector to prevent any potential shooter from forcing their way into the school. Unless there are multiple entrances, each with metal detectors and armed security, this will cause long lines of students to form outside the school as they try to get in through the metal detector in the morning (think TSA security lines). This has the effect of moving the soft targets of any potential shooter from inside the school to outside the school where there is no security. Not a great idea unless there are multiple entrances with metal detectors and armed security, OR unless you have students in different grades arrive at different times in order to minimize the lines. This latter option may be a cost effective option worth considering.
Some have been advertising "bulletproof" window films. If we put these thin films , on our windows that will make our school safe, right? WRONG! According to experts, there is NO SUCH THING as a "bulletproof" window film.
If we have an armed Security Guard in the school that will solve the problem, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. The armed security guard at Parkland High School stayed in the parking lot throughout the entire shooting. Assuming the armed security guard is conscientious about their job, having one would be better than nothing, however if the active shooter is a student, they will undoubtedly be aware of the security guard and may choose to target him (or her) first, leaving the school undefended. For this reason, if you are planing on having armed security on campus, we believe that it is best that students not know who is armed, but that they be made aware of the fact that there IS armed security on campus in order to deter potential shooters. Unless the school can afford multiple armed security guards, it may be better to have a few well trained teachers and staff with concealed carry permits, keeping their identities secret.