School Security Revisited

June 3, 2019

A publication called Violence and Gender printed an article which reported on security in our public schools. The article was written by researchers from the University of Toledo and Ball State University. The New York Times reviewed the original article. Researchers studied the amount of school violence caused by the use of firearms from 2000 to 2018. Their most important finding was that after schools have spent millions of dollars to invest in measures to curb firearm violence in schools, this report found that firearm violence in schools has actually increased during the last 18 years with 2018 being the worst year on record according to their statistics.

One conclusion from the article was that most visible security measures were primarily added to make students and parents feel at ease that their school district was doing something to solve the school security problem. However after all of these protective investments were made, federal data reportedly shows that 2018 was the worst on record for gun-related incidents in schools.

As reported in a previous editorial, my own school district has invested thousands of dollars to install bullet proof glass, hire one security guard and furnish badges for every student and faculty member to have visible at all times while on school grounds.

According to the original Violence and Gender article, 94% of schools now have monitored doors, 92% of schools have written procedures for dealing with an active shooter, 81% of schools have security cameras installed, 78% of schools keep exterior doors locked and 73% have installed electronic notification system.

At the bottom of the list is having classroom doors which can be locked from the inside. Only 67% of schools have this type of hardware according to the report. This simple solution, and one which every locksmith can solve, is being overlooked. According to this report, 33% of all schools in the country have no way of immediately protecting the majority of students during a moment of danger. Here is an opportunity to do what we do best.