If you are a habitual reader of iDigHardware, you probably know about the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), and the PASS School Safety and Security Guidelines. The 4th edition of this document was released last December, and is available to download for free from the PASS website. These guidelines cover best practices for securing K-12 school facilities, and the PASS school security checklist allows school districts to track their security efforts in comparison to these best practices.
In recent months, the PASS guidelines have been recognized by several state and federal organizations seeking to help communities set baseline standards for school safety and security. These organizations include the Federal Commission on School Safety, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). You can read more about these organizations’ references to the guidelines on the PASS website.
Ohio’s use of the PASS guidelines is particularly interesting to me because many of you will remember that back in 2015-2016, a lot of time was spent debating whether classroom barricade devices should be allowed in Ohio schools. The final result was that the Ohio Board of Building Standards decided the state codes should not be changed in order to allow the devices because of safety concerns, but the law that was passed by state legislators required the codes to be changed. Ultimately, the Ohio codes were changed to allow some types of devices, making Ohio one of three US states that has passed legislation to this effect. Now the Ohio School Security Report cites the PASS guidelines, which do not recommend the use of classroom barricade devices.
As school districts continue to work on setting standards and best practices for school security, PASS provides valuable information on what can be a confusing and complex task. Visit the PASS website at PASSK12.org.