School and Public Safety Tips
In recent days there have many unfortunate and devastating events that have occurred where gunman have endangered and killed innocent people. One in particular, occurred in an elementary school. This event triggered in me a response I was not comfortable with, a feeling of helplessness. I wanted to help in any way I could. This is what I came up with: a list of safety procedures or tips that any school in the nation may apply to their safety protocols in hopes that just one change could save lives. Please copy and forward to your schools, place of businesses, or any public place that you feel could benefit in some way in protecting others from these terrible acts of evil.
This list was written after I spoke with my mom who has worked in an elementary school for 16 years. I have two children of my own and am very saddened by senseless acts that take lives of innocent humans!
1. Schools have a rule that all doors leading outside, windows as well as the classroom door, always remain locked. That includes during class while students are there. In the event an intruder entered the school, the rooms would be locked and therefore possibly slow down or avoid any access to the rooms.
2. Windows and door windows have either curtains or mini blinds on them that may be lowered in the event of an emergency where visibility is a concern.
3. All visitors, including parents, be escorted to their destination within the school after check in and after obtaining a name tag or some identification that they are visitors who have been through the office check in procedure. Avoiding this entire situation, unless parents are volunteering services, no visitor should be allowed to enter classrooms during school hours. Deliveries of personal items etc. can be made by the office staff. In this event, consider, the office should ALWAYS have staff in it at all times, never leaving the office empty.
4. In the event there is an emergency- not a lock down situation- a true emergency, children are to line up on the wall nearest the door- out of the line of site. In the event someone were to shoot a gun, the children would be away from any straight line of fire directly in the room or on the floor.
5. No child or teacher for any reason should allow any visitor – including parents- access to any room from the outside of the building- side doors- into any room in the school. Visitors must go to the office to check in.
6. Have a plan and practice drills for emergencies that are not for earthquakes, fires but intrusion style situations. Of course these drills would be approached in different ways appropriate for each grade level, but that every student know what to do in an emergency of this nature. Fire drills are handled differently than earthquake drills? Correct? So should intrusive situations. Have them practiced throughout the school year.
7. Have a code word for staff and children in the event there is such an event, that they may know how to respond quietly and quickly.
8. Do not have the schools safety procedures listed online where people with bad intentions can learn how to go around the safety precautions and procedures. Take into consideration some materials are confidential to staff only.
9. Check in procedure at front desk- also positioning front office in a manner that is conducive to protecting other classrooms, example facing the front entrance, not on the side where people can sneak through with out checking in.
10. Obviously having all suspicious activity reported and possibly informing parents so they make make parental decisions on their children's attendance following unusual activities that occur in,on or around the school premises. (Daily activity form or email or website post of that days activity or occurrences?)
11. At all times, an office personnel is in the office.
12. Students always go in pairs on any activities where they are leaving the classrooms.
13. In the event of a lockdown, windows and doors should be lowered, covered or locked while classroom schedules continue on as regular.
14. Background checks on visitors checking into the school for any reason. Software does exist that can be used on computers in the schools office alerting staff of visitor red flags.
15. If a visitor arrives at school unplanned they must check in to the office, possibly leaving id at the office while wearing a tag stating that they are visitors.
16. There should be a secondary set of metal fire exit or entrance doors entering into the school halls from the front entrance. The primary doors would remain glass and point of first entry. In the event of an intruder emergency those metal doors would slow down or prevent entrance into the main halls of the school. These doors should be locking from the outside but not inside as per fire codes. Office staff should have a buzzing system that unlocks doors permitting visitors to enter.
17. Protective window glass with an alarm that once broken, an alarm alerts staff of an emergency. This alarm contacts police and ems authorities.
18. Impenetrable class room doors.
Understand these are only suggestions and any modification and additions could be considered.
Just a small way to try and get more safety into our world.