Expert: Conn. Shooting to Impact School Security Nationwide

School security expert cites two ways in which schools can immediately improve access control


Another question that Lang said school security managers should be asking is how teachers and other staff members should respond if a shooter is able to make their way inside of a classroom where the lights have already been turned off and the door has been locked.

"I think we’ve stopped with the education at that point and we have said 'ok, the first responders will show up,'" he said. "This is another example of where (the shooting) was over before the first responders showed up. You’re on your own for those first couple of minutes, so you need to have all the tools available for not just awareness that this is taking place, but what to do if you’re actually confronted with the person."

Moving forward, Lang said schools across the country will undoubtedly look at their security policies and procedures to see where changes need to be made. Lang also believes that lawmakers will push for active shooter drill mandates to help schools be better prepared for a mass shooting.

"I think we’re going to see some additional directives coming out that say you must hold drills, active shooter drills once a year or whatever period of time it is," Lang said. "I think you’re going to see some mandates coming out, not just on fire drill participation for universities, but you’re going to see active shooter drills, hazardous material drills and all of those things that seem to be occurring more and more."

Additionally, Lang said that there will probably be more loosening of restrictions when it comes to mental health reporting and the sharing of that information with key personnel on a school campus.

"FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) was reinterpreted some years back," according to Lang. "Originally, it didn’t not allow any of the psychological information that universities would have from their medical people or psychological services people to be shared with anyone else on the campus. That has now been reinterpreted to mean that you can share it with certain entities, especially during an emergency, but to be able to do some prevention methods as well."

Despite other high-profile mass shootings in schools, such as Columbine and Virginia Tech, Timm said that the nature of the Newtown rampage and the fact that small children were targeted will spur more action than ever before.

"It’s heartbreaking and because it’s heartbreaking, there will probably be a louder cry for change to be made," Timm said.

 

 

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