Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 09:13:45 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Making the school safe for students

photo by

By
06th-Aug-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Mimi Kirk :
Lisa Hamp is a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, in which 32 people died at the hands of student Seung-Hui Cho. Hamp and her classmates lived because they barricaded their classroom door. "The door did not have a lock," Hamp says. "We used a desk and table to keep the shooter from entering."
Hamp recently joined a group in Washington, D.C., lobbying for funding to make U.S. public schools safer from such assaults. She joined representatives from organizations such as the Secure Schools Alliance and Safe and Sound Schools, as well as the security firm Allegion. These organizations have allies in Congress: Representatives Susan Brooks, a Republican from Indiana, and Rick Larsen, a Democrat from Washington, head the Congressional School Safety Caucus.
School safety is a big business. Allegion, which specializes in "security around the doorway" (meaning locks, steel doors and frames, and the like), reported $2.2 billion in net revenues last year. Tim Eckersley, the president of the Americas region for Allegion, points to the new, rebuilt Sandy Hook elementary school, in which 26 students and staff were killed in 2012, as a current "model school for safety and security." It features such elements as a series of checkpoints along the road that approaches the school, impact-resistant windows, and a high-tech surveillance system. Other school safety paraphernalia on the market include gear like bulletproof whiteboards and backpacks, fingerprint recognition systems, and gunshot detection systems.
Much of the advocates' conversation with lawmakers centers around establishing nationwide provisions for school security, including emergency drills and monitored entrances for visitors. One low-tech fix is emphasized: a requirement to provide locks on classroom doors. "We hear about the need to lock a door time and again when there is violence in a school building," says Michele Gay, who co-founded Safe and Sound Schools after she lost her daughter in the Sandy Hook shootings.
In Hamp's case, an ad-hoc barricade worked, but that's usually not advised. The manufactured barricades that some schools purchase aren't fire code compliant-and while they keep a perpetrator out, they also bar those who would help from coming in. Instead, locks easily engaged and disengaged from the inside of a classroom are recommended.  
Allegion and other security companies would likely get a lot of new business if such locks were mandated on all classrooms nationwide. Robert Boyd, the executive director of the Secure Schools Alliance, says it takes about $100,000 to give a school a basic level of security. With, for instance, around 98,000 K-12 public schools in the U.S., each a candidate for outfitting or upgrading, there's a vast amount of money at stake. But Eckersley says that the firm's interest in such legislation has a higher purpose. "We aim to make places safer so that people can thrive," he says. "In this case, that's about learning and teaching."
Boyd and his colleagues aren't asking for funding from the beleaguered Department of Education (which, in President Trump's proposed budget, would see its funding slashed 13.5 percent). Rather, they envision resources for a school security makeover coming out of the president's fabled $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which the Department of Homeland Security would then mete out to states. And the feds wouldn't be footing the whole bill: Boyd advocates for a system in which one-third of each $100,000 would come from the federal government, while states and municipalities would split the rest.
"You have to be careful that you're not preparing for the least-probable attack."
But some researchers caution that a focus on hardware solutions risks taking attention and resources away from more effective methods of preventing shootings and other school violence. The majority of school violence does not involve mass shootings and random victims: They're single incidents between two people-usually students-that are personal in nature. Shootings like those at Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook are shocking, horrific, and exceptionally uncommon. "Even in the deadliest years, the chance of a student or adult being killed at school is roughly one in a million," writes Sasha Abramsky in a critical report on the school security industry in The Nation.
William Woodward, the director of training and technical assistance at the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado Boulder, says it's important to keep this infrequency in mind when planning for school safety. "You have to be careful that you're not preparing for the least-probable attack," he says.
Woodward has studied school shootings in depth, and his research shows that reaching the students who would do harm to others early is the key to preventing the violence. He emphasizes that one of the most important things a school can do is to create a "safe school climate"-one where students view teachers as fair, feel welcome and engaged in activities, and know a teacher they feel they can trust and talk to. It's also a climate where rules are consistently enforced.
In such a climate, students with mental health problems and anger issues are more easily detected and treated. "This is really about identifying those kids early and getting them the resources they need so we don't have to rely on locks," Woodward says. It's also crucial for a school's different communities to coordinate. "Teachers, the police, the PTA, parents, students, school administrators-they all have to be working with each other, or you can end up with a shooting," Woodward says.
Last year, he and a co-author published recommendations on how schools can promote intervention, such as diligently documenting student behavior concerns and conducting formal trainings for students and staff on the signs of violence to look out for.
(Mimi Kirk is a contributing writer to CityLab covering education, youth, and aging. Her writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and Smithsonian).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Entertainment »

Elnaaz surprised by Salman -Katrina controversy about Sacred Games


Actress Elnaaz Norouzi is surprised that there is a controversy about the characters of Karan Wahi and her in the Netflix series Sacred Games. The characters are alleged to have taken inspiration from real life incidents in Salman Khan and his ex-girlfriend Katrina Kaif's real lives.  "While shooting the episodes, ...

Entertainment »

Vidya Balan is all set to play her first Telugu film!


One can't refute the fact that Vidya Balan is one of the most versatile actresses in Indian Cinema today. The National Award Winning actress has never shied away from going off the beaten track and picking up complex and challenging roles. Needless to say, she has effortlessly nailed them all ...

Football »

Mbappe to donate US $500,000 World Cup winnings to charity


Sports Desk :French teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe will be donating his entire World Cup earnings to a charity that organises sporting events for children with disabilities.The 19-year-old reportedly earned about US$22,300 per game in the tournament and an additional US$350,000 for helping his country lift the World Cup trophy on ...

Editorial »

Trump‘s behaviour in meeting with Putin regarded as disgraceful


US President Donald Trump has defended Russia over claims of interference in the 2016 presidential election. After face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Trump contradicted US intelligence agencies and said there had been no reason for Russia to meddle in the vote, as per international media reports.Mr Putin ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee member Dr Khondkar Mosharraf Hossain speaking at an opinion sharing meeting on 'Role of Present Election Commission and Blue Print of the Government' organised by Bangladesh Youth Forum at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday.


International »

No reason to believe Russia behind election meddling


Reuters, Helsinki :U.S. President Donald Trump emerged from a meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday saying he saw no reason to believe Russia had hacked the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and the Russian leader "was extremely strong and powerful" in denying it.Trump held his meeting just days after a special ...

International »

US, North Korea hold 'productive' talks on war remains: Pompeo


AP, Seoul :U.S. and North Korean officials held "productive" talks Sunday to discuss the return of U.S. service members' remains missing since the Korean War, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.Pompeo, who was not part of the talks, said in a statement that working level meetings between U.S. and ...

Business & Economy »

American Tony Roma now in Dhaka


Business Desk :America's most favorite ribs & steak chain "Tony Roma's" opened officially in Bangladesh on Monday.The first flagship outlet was launched at the most aristocratic zone in the city, NEB (3B), Road#74, Gulshan-2 in Dhaka. US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat attended the function as the chief guest.Tony Roma's ...

Editorial »

Govt`s pragmatic step is needed to save Bangladesh from adverse impact of global warming


A RECENT study has shown that Bangladesh is among the countries 'most at risk' as over one billion people in the world are lack of air conditioning and refrigeration to keep them cool and to preserve food and medicines while global warming increasing temperatures. More electricity demand for fridges, fans ...

Football »

Harry Kane wins Golden Boot


England captain Harry Kane has won the Golden Boot after finishing as the World Cup's top scorer with Croatia's Luka Modric winning the Golden Ball for being the player of the tournament.Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard was the second-best player, with France forward Antoine Griezmann third.His French team-mate Kylian Mbappe won ...

Football »

Luka Modric (left) poses with the Golden Ball with Kylian Mbappe holding his Young Player Award on Sunday.


Entertainment »

Mamo, Mehazabien together


Entertainment Report :Zakia Bari Mamo and Mehazabien Chowdhury came to showbiz from the common platform. Both of them have common respect to each other. They won the hearts of many viewers by virtue of presenting their acting skills in last Eid works. Directors can easily rely on them. In last ...

City »

President candidate of a faction of BFUJ Molla Jalal, among others, at a journalists' rally organised by 'BFUJ Nirbachane Dabi Adai Sangram Committee'at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday demanding declaration of BFUJ election result.


International »

Gaza mourns teenage boys killed in Israeli air raid


Al Jazeera News :Umm Luay zooms in on a photograph on her mobile phone and kisses the screen, again and again.In the photo, her son, Luay Kaheel, is seen smiling alongside his friend, Amir al-Nimra. The two teenagers, 16 and 15 respectively, died on Saturday minutes after an Israeli air ...

Editorial »

Nobody could enjoy freedom to foil peaceful movement of students


ONCE again, the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday assaulted some students and teachers of Dhaka University to foil their human chain programme at Central Shaheed Minar demanding release of three quota reformists. The reformist leaders Jashim and Moshiur were shown arrested in a case filed for the attack ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news