The following is a continuation of our ongoing focus on gun violence at schools. This post is written by a long time LYSer.
In my last post,The Protect Our Children Initiative – Part 12 – Campus Security, I discussed the difference between access control and security. Remember, a football ticket is access control to the stadium, but it secures nothing and no one. I start with an item or person or location I want to secure. Once identified I then develop a plan to secure the item, person, or location.
We are getting far too caught up on access control in this school safety discussion with very little discussion about security. News flash: Depending on what we are trying to secure, access control may not be your best friend. Allow me to explain.
The most cited example for a security model seems to be airports. So, let’s ask ourselves, what is the airport trying to secure? If you say people, you would be wrong. The security at airports is designed to protect the airplanes. The thinking is, if the plane is secure then the people aboard the plane are also secure. In addition, since a plane can be turned into a weapon, a secure plane also makes the people on the ground safer.
But what of all the metal detectors and long lines at airports? It can be easily argued that these “choke points” actually make people less safe. Without getting into graphic detail, law enforcement knows this.
With school safety, I am not trying to protect the building or any other object; I am trying to protect people. Putting the people I want to protect in large, slow moving choke points for access control increases the danger to people. The Secret Service would never allow the President to be caught in such a choke point and indeed will have a plan of escape should such an event occur.
School safety is particularly hard. Access control is of limited use for another reason: In almost every school shooting scenario, the shooter was supposed to be in the building. We are spending a lot of time on the less likely outside threat, and not a lot of time on the more likely inside threat. That is a hard, uncomfortable fact.
Before school and state officials take knee jerk responses to school safety, I would suggest that some “security” measures actually have the potential to create more danger, not less. Again, I am not a security expert, but I am trained. It would be very, very wise to listen to actual safety experts. I doubt they would recommend creating choke points full of vulnerable children.
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