How to Secure a High School Properly?

Unfortunately, the threat of violence at high schools across the country is becoming more common, as are lockdown drills and standard operating procedures in security. Securing a high school requires ongoing effort, evaluation, and analysis.

It involves implementing weapon detection technology, having a plan for security personnel, and designing the grounds to minimize the movement or risk of a threat. It’s more complex than installing a metal detector, which many studies argue could be more effective. Securing a high school needs a multi-step solution.

Security Evaluation:

Contact a security professional for a threat assessment of your high school premises. Every school is different, each with its strengths and weaknesses. A security professional can identify your weak points, what can be exploited to gain access, and what improvements can be made to minimize the chance of a security breach.

This sort of analysis is more than just something to do once. Have an evaluation done at least once a year to ensure your security is up-to-date?

Metal Detectors:

Parents automatically ask schools for more metal detectors in the face of threats. Though they’re frequently portrayed as the best proactive measure, they are merely one of several possibilities for catching concealed weapons.

Many studies argue that metal detectors are ineffective, with students finding other ways to conceal weapons and bring them onto school grounds. No evidence suggests that metal detectors make high schools safer.

Modern AI-Driven Weapon Detection Technology:

A weapon detection system can identify concealed weapons. Though systems vary, they incorporate AI, cameras, and electromagnetic sensors to detect possible weapons when students walk past.

When you implement a weapon detection system, there is no metal detector or a long line to get into a high school. They work fast and in real-time, allowing personnel to identify threats quickly and accurately and to make a move before the situation progresses.

Ensure Every Door And Window Has A Lock:

Any threat to a high school will seek minimal resistance. A locked door or window is unlikely to be broken or passed. As simple as it is, one of the best defences against an outside party getting into a high school is to ensure every door is shut and locked.

This applies not only to the doors to the outside but also to doors to classrooms and internal building doors. All doorknobs should be equipped with locks so the premises can be secured quickly if there’s a lockdown. This can save lives.

Have Security Cameras to Monitor School:

Security cameras are one of the top safety and security measures reported by public schools. Many schools use IP security cameras to cover every entry point, allowing security personnel to observe every entrance or exit.

Multiple studies have shown that schools that use security cameras have lower rates of student-reported theft, vandalism, and physical fights. Regarding securing a school from an active shooter or similar threat, video can be used to complete threat assessments by both AI and human security.

Complete Regular Patrols and Confront Suspicious Persons:

Conduct routine patrols across the school grounds. Ideally, this should be done in pairs. Intruders will see these patrols, which may discourage them from acting. If suspicious or unknown people are found during a patrol, it is important to confront them.

Don’t wait. Be assertive. Avoiding confrontation may lead them to pursue a crime that could have otherwise been avoided. This is why you may want the personnel completing these patrols to be trained security personnel.

Threat Response Plan:

Have a plan. If someone arrives on the premises with a gun looking to cause maximum carnage, know exactly what to do. Have specific plans for specific events. Ensure staff are aware and trained. Ensure lockdown protocols work.

Have a customized plan to secure a high school while the presence of police is waited on. Without a plan, more lives can be lost. With a plan, you curtail damage and ensure no time is wasted mitigating the threat.

Practice Your Threat Response with Students:

Your threat response plan can be perfect, but if your staff needs to know what to do or if students need to be made aware of what’s expected of them, this is where you run into trouble.

To secure a high school, ensure you run lockdown drills and inform students of the threat response plan. This way, if the school is suddenly put on hold/secure or lockdown, students know how to react, and staff do as well. No one is left without a clue on how to respond or what to do next.