Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Thursday, January 18, 2018 11:49:49 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

Business & Economy »

Filippo Lanzi, new head of Asia Pacific GSK Consumer Healthcare


Business Desk :GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare has announced the appointment of Filippo Lanzi as its regional head of the Asia Pacific, encompassing 23 territories. Lanzi is also the newest member of the Consumer Healthcare Strategic Leadership Team and the GSK Singapore Country Board.Lanzi joined GSK as part of a joint ...

International »

US govt shutdown looms amid harsh immigration exchange


Reuters, Washington :Partisan finger-pointing over immigration policy on Tuesday left the U.S. Congress and the White House stumbling closer to a possible federal government shutdown by the end of the week, although Wall Street held out hopes for a deal to prevent that.Republicans who control Congress are expected to try ...

Editorial »

Be careful about corruption over the big projects


Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said the China Harbour Engineering Company Limited that got the contract for expansion of Dhaka-Sylhet Highway had bribed government officials. So, the government "blacklisted" the firm and decided to fund the expansion work of the 226km Dhaka-Sylhet road to a four-lane highway on its own, ...

Sports »

Anett Kontaveit of Estonia makes a forehand return to Germany's Mona Barthel during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Valentine’s Day telefilm Mithojeebi


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :On the occasion of coming Valentine’s Day, Mir Sabbir and Moutushi Biswas acted together under Azizul Hakim’s direction in a special telefilm titled Mithojeebi scripted by Zinat Hakim to telecast on Channel i. Both Sabbir and Moutushi acted under Azizul Hakim for the first time. Zinat Hakim ...

City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia appeared before the special court on Bakshi Bazar Alia Madrasha premises in the city yesterday on two corruption cases filed by Anti-Corruption Commission.


Editorial »

Lies about economic progress are coming out


The economy has come under pressure due to the banking sector crisis, inflation and soaring imports amid inadequate export earnings and insufficient remittance inflows, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said recently. The banking sector is suffering from cronyism, the think-tank said, adding that various irregularities and embezzlement of public ...

Sports »

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic makes a forehand return to Germany's Andrea Petkovic during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday.


Entertainment »

Much-awaited intense and gripping trailer of Breathe


After tantalizing the senses of audiences with the edge of the seat teaser, Amazon Prime Video and Abundantia Entertainment have now released the much-awaited trailer of Breathe. Breathe brings to the audience R Madhavan in the OTT space for the very first time. The trailer of the digital series is ...

Entertainment »

Richi works in a serial after returning country


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular TV actress Richi Solaiman returned to Bangladesh on December 8. This time she came here to pass time only with her family and close persons of media. Despite having earlier schedule to come to country Richi did not agree to work for this reason. After returning ...

International »

We will `strangle` US-backed force in Syria `before it`s even born`: Erdogan


Reuters: Beirut :Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to "strangle" a planned 30,000-strong US-backed force in Syria "before it's even born," as Washington's backing for Kurdish fighters drove a wedge into relations with one of its main Middle East allies.The United States announced its support on Sunday for plans for ...

International »

Melania, America's enigmatic first lady


AFP, New York :Groomed to perfection yet rarely heard in public, Melania Trump is an enigma-a first lady whose opinions, marriage and goals remain a mystery to millions of Americans.She is without question a unique first lady: a former model who once posed nude in her husband's private jet; the ...

Business & Economy »

NRBC Bank aims to woo investment, quality banking


Kazi Zahidul Hasan  :NRB Commercial (NRBC) Bank Ltd has taken steps to bring substantial amount of foreign investment mainly from expatriate Bangladeshis this year in line with the objective it stated in the founding charter. "The bank was established to bring investment of non-resident Bangladeshi (NRBs) but it slipped from ...

Business & Economy »

Syed Waseque Md. Ali, Managing Director of First Security Islami Bank Limited, poses with the participants of the 28th Foundation Course at its Training Institute in the city recently. Senior officials of the bank were present.


City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia appeared before the special court on Bakshi Bazar Alia Madrasha premises in the city on Tuesday on two corruption cases filed by Anti-Corruption Commission.


 
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