Can Locks Improve School Safety?

Improved security devices are just the tip of the iceberg in Obama’s 2015 plan.

schoolsIn the wake of the tragic 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been a renewed interest in and debate of the best techniques to protect students from violence at school. Obama’s school safety plans have included a mix of strategies designed to achieve this goal.

Better School Security

The first school safety plans provided funding for security improvements at schools that would make them more difficult to attack. This strategy is known as “target hardening.” Schools typically chose a mix of security tools both to make it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to access the school and to make it easier for staff to identify threats quickly and secure various parts of the building when hiding from an intruder.

For example, here in California we know that the Glendale Unified School District received federal funds to install video surveillance and panic buttons and to create single points of entry to better control access to schools. Schools in Berkeley received half a million dollars for locks and disaster preparedness, according to data collated by Campus Safety Magazine.

In the past, most school classrooms could only be locked from the outside using a key. Now, many schools are installing locks that can be activated from the inside at the touch of a button. This would enable teachers to secure their classrooms in the event of violence in other parts of the school. Unfortunately, installing new locks on every door in America’s schools is a costly proposition, and does not address the root cause of school violence.

Better Student Intervention

Obama’s 2015 school safety plan recognizes the reality that the vast majority of school violence does not involve guns and intruders, but is perpetrated by students on one another. The plan includes $120 million to be spent on mental health services and anti-bullying programs in 2015. In the most dangerous schools, children may be screened and assessed for trauma and violence so that they can receive helpful mental health services from trained professionals. This strategy is meant to serve as one of violence prevention via early detection of troubled students.

Do You Want to Improve the Security of Your Business?

Many of the same strategies being used by schools to limit and control access and maintain a close eye on students can also help improve security at commercial properties. For example, while you may not need a metal detector at your office door you could benefit from improved access control technology such as key cards that log each employee’s arrival. You could also benefit from surveillance cameras as a crime prevention and employee supervision tool. To learn more about these security products, please contact RBM Lock & Key.

Posted on March 24, 2015
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