Providing School Security, Part 2

Providing School Security, Part 2 | #ESC_LLC #School #Security #Safety #Lockdown | School shootings are of enormous concern to everyone, especially to parents and students, many who naturally wonder if such a horrible event could happen where they attend public school. Sadly, there’s almost no defense in place against an assailant armed with a gun. The best that it usually gets is the presence of a resource officer who, for the most part, is unarmed and unable to respond in kind to prevent the killing of innocent children including him or herself.

This is part 2 of a two-part series on school security. To read  part 1, click here (this will open up a new window).

“The most recent data released by the SAVD Surveillance System cover the period from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. During this period, there were a total of 53 school-associated violent deaths in elementary and secondary schools in the United States. Of these 53 student, staff, and nonstudent school-associated violent deaths, there were 41 homicides, 11 suicides, and 1 legal intervention death” (Violent Deaths at School and Away From School, http://bit.ly/2dMquTH).

In addition, according to CDC’s School Associated Violent Death Study, between 14 and 34 school-age children are victims of homicide on school grounds on their way to and from school—each and every year.

“Most school-associated violent deaths occur during transition times – immediately before and after the school day and during lunch” (Injury Prevention & Control: Division of Violence Prevention, http://bit.ly/2e7KMX3).

The CDC cites the following:

  • Violent deaths are more likely to occur at the start of each semester.
  • Nearly 50 percent of homicide perpetrators gave some type of warning signal, such as making a threat or leaving a note, prior to the event.
  • Firearms used in school-associated homicides and suicides came primarily from the perpetrator’s home or from friends or relatives.
  • Homicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 5-18.
  • In terms of the U.S. student population, there are more than 98,450 in K12 in public school settings, 30,000+ in private schools and nearly 4,800 in 2- and 4-year colleges and universities.  

The CDC findings clearly underscore the importance of prevention where it comes to violence in and around our nation’s schools, and as we all know, they mayhem and killings continues to escalate.

The Statistics of School Violence

John Larkin, ESC Senior Partner.According to a study reported on by Campus Safety magazine, entitled ‘Threats and Violence on the Rise in K-12 Schools,’ “In the 2017-2018 school year, more than 3,659* threats and incidents of violence occurred in K-12 schools in America. With 3,380 being threats, the number has increased 62 percent from last school year. The most common type of threat in the 2017-2018 school year was shooting threats, followed by unspecific threats and bomb threats” (http://bit.ly/2RWy1jZ).

Because of the emotion and high-stakes politics involved with the school shooting issue over the past two decades, it’s sometimes difficult to maintain an objective view. The entire issue of past shootings in public schools has taken on the appearance of “politics” when it should be whatever is truly best for the safety of society’s children.

Instead, the news media continues to capitalize on each and every tragedy, which feeds the fire of passion within certain mentally challenged and emotionally unstable individuals. This political grandstanding appears to have become a permanent standard of behavior for news organizations in dealing with such tragic events, thus bringing mentally, off-balanced individuals out of hiding for the opportunity of claiming what they see as an opportunity for a moment of fame. Talk about misguided.

The Solution to School Shootings

Analog ball cameraThe Sheriff in Butler County, Ohio, believes that arming teachers and school faculty is the best course of action in dealing with an armed shooter, and he may very well be right because seconds count when an entire school of soft targets are forced to wait for first responders to arrive. There is, in fact, growing consensus among the general public that arming school teachers and staff is the right thing to do. In the meantime there are other things that can help to save lives until police arrive.

ESC offers a wireless school lockdown system that is capable of protecting students and teachers for a short time. It involves the use of electronic locks installed on all classroom doors as well as wireless access points with the use of extenders, AKA: repeaters.

Intrusion DetectionThese systems consist of wireless locks that operate on WiFi or some other type of wireless technology. The teacher is given a pendant that wirelessly controls the lock on her classroom door. By pressing the button, she can immediately  lock her door so no one out in the hallway can enter, thus preventing the shooter from entering and doing her and her young charges harm.

This can be part of a larger access control/security strategy, thus capable of performing the facility-wide lockdown previously mentioned. This includes: 1) locking individual classrooms, 2) providing local law enforcement with access to onsite video cameras right down to police cruisers, 3) activation of a mass notification system within a particular building and those elsewhere on campus, and 4) notifying a central station monitoring facility of the lockdown event.

How Wireless Lockdown Works

ESC uses two wireless school lockdown products, the v.G1.5 manufactured by Sargent of New Haven, CT, and the AD-400 by Schlage.

The Profile Series v.G1.5 is an electronic classroom lock designed to operate in standalone mode. As an access control lock, it provides functions that are typical to those used in classroom settings. Access from a hallway requires a PIN (personal identification number) and/or a HID 125 KHz proximity card.

What makes the v.G1.5 unique is the fact that it allows for rapid lockdown using a fob that a teacher can wear around his or her neck. Activation takes place using an encrypted radio-frequency (RF) technology that allows the teacher to quickly lock the door up to 75 feet away, which includes almost anywhere inside a classroom. Multiple classrooms also can be simultaneously locked from a central location inside the school.

The vG1.5 supports 2,000 user codes and will retain up to 2,000 events for forensic investigation after an event has taken place. Another option includes the use of dual factor authentication using the outside keypad.

The vG1.5 is available in mortise lock, cylindrical lock, or in exit device configurations. Programming is performed using SoloPlusTM Access Control Management Software using WindowsTM using a CD-Rom drive, a data transfer device, or a PDA. For more information, go to: http://bit.ly/2dHp5ug.

The Schlage AD-400 series lock is a wireless classroom lockdown solution. Instead of WiFi, it uses 900 MHz spread spectrum with AES-128 bit key data encryption (for the technical in the audience) to send secure signals from the lock to a centralized access control host computer. A pendant worn by teachers enables the almost immediate lockdown of a classroom on an individual basis. When activated, the lockdown event can be transmitted to a central hub where it will get school official’s attention. At that point they can manually invoke a full-scale, school-wide lockdown. Gunshot detectors also can be used to initiate a full-school lockdown.

“The AD-400 wireless networked lock gives us many of the key benefits of a hardwired access control system — without the wires, says John Larkin, Senior Partner with Electronic Systems Consultants (ESC) of Greater Ohio. “This allows us to secure doors that were traditionally difficult to run wires to in the past. It increase security throughout the school.”

Wireless applications and accessories available for the AD-400 series lock includes a remote gateway, elevator and portable (mustering) applications, as well as use of smart/mobile devices as a credential with aptiQmobile™, a multi-technology reader application.

If you’re concerned about security in your local school district in Ohio, call ESC for assistance. We can provide a unified, integrated solution tailored to your individual schools’ needs. Phone us at 614-754-1393, or eMail us at ESC@tpromo.com.

1 thought on “Providing School Security, Part 2”

Comments are closed.