Federal data points to a terrible truth: school shootings have risen to their highest number in twenty years. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the 2020-2021 school year included 93 “incidents with casualties” at both public and private schools. While we can’t always control whether or not these incidents occur on our campuses, we can always put in place proactive measures to help defend and protect our children, their teachers, and school staff.
Protecting our children while they’re at school is a growing concern as we face new challenges with crime and mental health within our communities. School Safety Solution was founded to help school administrators, school resource officers, teachers, and parents take control of the safety measures within their schools, including the installation of lockdown devices on doors.
How Do School Shootings Affect our Kids?
Beyond their initial devastation, shootings have serious negative consequences that reverberate for years to come. In June of 2022, Stanford University published a study on the long-term impacts of school shootings on our children. The study, “Surviving a school shooting: Impacts on the mental health, education, and earnings of American youth,” found that over 100,000 children were affected by school shootings in the years 2018 and 2019 alone, meaning they attended a school where a shooting occurred during that time frame. The study uncovered the following long-term effects on children exposed to gun violence involved with a school shooting:
- a higher rate of antidepressant use following the exposure
- lower rates of enrollment at school
- a decline in the average test scores of affected students
- an increase in student absenteeism
- an increase in the likelihood that students would have to repeat a grade in the two years following the school shooting
- lower high school graduation rates for exposed students
- lower rates of college attendance for exposed students
- lower college graduation rates for exposed students
- lower rates of employment after finishing their education
- lower earnings for exposed students, even in their mid-twenties
While complete prevention may not totally be within the control of our communities, we can install safety devices in our schools and train our teachers and staff on how to use them. In this way, we can reduce the number of children who are exposed directly to violence.
How To Respond in an Active Shooting:
There are several methods of responding to an active shooting, and the safest method will depend on the situation’s unique circumstances. Broadly, there are three main options for emergency intruder response:
- Evacuate: Evacuation is always the preferred method if there is an available (and safe) way to escape. Planning an escape route in advance is a great way for schools to get started when it comes to developing an active shooting drill.
- Shelter in Place: School administrators and resource officers should proactively designate a plan for sheltering and hiding inside the school building if evacuation is not possible or safe. Shelter plans should include methods for safely locking the classroom door, covering windows, and remaining in place for as long as necessary.
- Distract the Assailant: Creating 1) distance between the shooter and their target and 2) a distraction for the shooter are two key ways to counter an attack, if necessary. Both distance and distraction decrease the assailant’s ability to accurately aim and fire.
For more information on responding to an active shooting, take a look at School Safety Solution’s complete guide to ALICE training for schools. The ALICE method is one of the most trusted and widely used methods for preparing students, teachers, and staff for emergency intruder situations and proactively training them on effective safety methods.
How Can Teachers Lock a Classroom Door?
According to research from the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, the single best tangible protection from school shootings are doors that lock from the inside. In the Commission’s 2015 report, it was found that “there has never been an event in which an active shooter breached a locked classroom door.”
In contrast, there are many ineffective ways of barricading doors. Doors that lock from the outside, from example, can expose teachers to violence if the shooter is in the hallway.
School Safety Solution’s TeacherLock device is a bulletproof locking mechanism designed by educators for educators. Only authorized individuals can lock the door; the door locks from the outside only with the use of a special key that can be supplied to school resources officers, school administrators, teachers, and/or security personnel.
How Do You Secure a Classroom Door?
Securing a classroom door is most safely done through the use of an internal lock such as the TEACHERLOCK™ and TEACHERLOCK II™. With TeacherLock, teachers do not have to exit the classroom at all during an emergency situation, keeping them (and their students) safe behind closed doors.
The TEACHERLOCK and TEACHERLOOCK II both are built to lock within seconds when every second counts. These durable locking mechanisms are incredibly effective while also maintaining a discreet appearance, so classrooms can remain a happy place to focus on learning.
Benefits of Professional Lockdown Devices:
You won’t need to worry about the integrity of your security devices when you install a professional lockdown device such as the TEACHERLOCK™ or TEACHERLOCK II™. Both devices are easy to install, with a total installation time of five minutes or less. The TeacherLock II is code compliant in all fifty states, as well as ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. It requires only a single operation to both unlock and open the door – with no need for pinching, twisting, or grasping for egress. Rather, egress is intuitive, accessible, and does not need any particular knowledge or special training. With the TeacherLock and TeacherLock II, securing your classroom doors is cost effective and simple.
Ensure the Safety of Your Campus with the Help of School Safety Solution:
At School Safety Solution, our mission is to ensure that every community’s school campus remains a safe and secure place for children to learn and grow. Our solutions help protect children and educators by providing reliable, high-quality, and life-saving equipment that keep children, teachers, and staff out of the reach and view of intruders.
If you would like to review your school’s safety and security equipment, the tools available to your school’s staff, or any other security consideration, we would love to assist you. You can call our team of safety experts any time at 888.733.0406 or send us an email at email@example.com for more information.