The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) has developed some resources on classroom security and safety in conjunction with the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM). These documents simplify some of the technical information around code requirements and lock functions commonly used for classroom doors. There is an FAQ document for fire marshals, talking points regarding state legislation, a position paper on classroom security, and a guide to help identify existing locks and to determine whether to retrofit them.
All of these documents are available on the School Security page of BHMA’s website: buildershardware.com/schoolsecurity.
There is a story on NPR this morning called, 2 Big Teachers Unions Call For Rethinking Student Involvement In Lockdown Drills. The full report is here, and you can listen to a 3-minute audio clip (below) that includes an appearance by Guy Grace of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS).
A new federal school safety website – schoolsafety.gov – went live yesterday, and I’m very excited to report that the PASS Guidelines are featured as one of the physical security resources on the site! According to an article in Education Week:
A joint effort of the U.S. departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Justice, the website—https://www.schoolsafety.gov—went live Monday as several parents whose children were killed in the rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School met with President Trump at the White House just ahead of the two-year anniversary of the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting.
The idea of the federal school safety clearinghouse gained traction after some of those parents urged the federal lawmakers to establish best practices, citing the confusion among law enforcement agencies and school officials in Parkland as a former student came onto campus and opened fire, killing 17 and wounding 17 others.
School safety is largely a state and local concern, rather than a priority of the federal government. But as one Parkland parent who helped beta-test the new website pointed out, there is power in its ability to bring a powerful spotlight to an urgent issue.
One of the articles I read this morning had a link to the REMS TA Center – which stands for Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center. This site was established by the US Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools, and has dozens (hundreds?) of resources on various aspects of school safety.