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Protect Every School Zone

School is back in session, and I could not be happier and more proud of my third grader. School campuses come with their inherent historical risks. My summer included a lengthy interview with Secret Holt, the mother of Bailey Holt, who died at her Kentucky high school four years ago. She was murdered.

You know as well as I, after a campus shooting there are plenty of thoughts and prayers.

“Actions speak louder than words. And, if you’re really going to make the changes you say you’re going to make at the press conferences, the time to do that is now,” said Bailey’s mom, Secret. “Speaking for myself, and I’m sure that a lot of you will agree, instead of the next press conference that comes around being about another mass casualty shooting at your children’s elementary school, or high school, how about a press conference on technology, and how many lives it saved that day.”

Let’s look at the numbers. There were 93 school shootings, with casualties during the 2020-21 school year. That is the highest number since 2000-01. Since Columbine, more than 31,000 children have been present during a school shooting incident. Perhaps, planning and design will make a difference.

“Design by itself isn’t the solution. It is part of a larger mix of approaches that can help combat the epidemic of gun violence at schools,” said Roe Gammon, a security consultant at Henderson Engineers. “When working with school districts and other educational institutions, our goal is to help ensure the learning environment is conducive to safety while maintaining a comfortable and productive setting for students and educators. The process is a partnership between our experts and the people on the ground, so each solution is unique to a facility’s specific needs.”

There it is. Protect every school at the outside perimeter, actions speak louder than words and while design isn’t the sole solution it is part of the larger role of campus security.

This article originally appeared in the September / October 2022 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is the Publisher of Security Today magazine.

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