Although this TEDx talk is not completely related to physical security in schools, it’s valuable to understand the bigger picture when we are working to help schools provide the necessary level of security. I think some of the speaker’s points may be why I have been somewhat hesitant to recommend keeping classroom doors locked at all times. It’s a reminder – multiple times each day – that “the bad guy” has to be kept out, when the risk of an intruder attempting to enter is actually quite low. With that said, each school district needs to adopt whatever security measures work best for their community, and I’m not judging those choices.
A 12-year-old girl just moved in across the street from us, after living in an upscale area near Austin, Texas. She told my daughter (also 12), “In my old school I had a 1 in 900 chance of being shot every day.” WHAT? Kids hear and absorb more than we think they do. The heightened state of security that is evident in many schools – armed security officers, metal detectors, dozens of cameras, etc. – could have a lasting impact on our kids. Yes, we need to keep them safe and secure, but without making schools feel like prisons.
Thank you to Joe Prosser of LaForce for sending me the link to this video!