Editor's Note: Let’s Educate the Educators

June 10, 2022
While we wait for badly needed federal and state legislation on minimum school security standards and risk mitigation procedures, integrators need to keep preaching

This article originally appeared in the June 2022 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.

I am going to peel back the curtain just a bit this month: That flaming dollar sign on the cover was not our first choice for a cover design. Our first choice was a group of smiling elementary school kids being dismissed from class for the summer – but then May 24th happened.

In the interest of respect for those who were/are grieving the horrific massacre at Robb Elementary School in Texas, we pivoted our cover imagery; although it is our duty to push forward with the school security-related coverage we had planned for this issue.

That said, most Security Business and SecurityInfoWatch readers know that all of our brands cover school security around this time every year; in fact, scrolling through our archives on SecurityInfoWatch, we have decades of collected knowledge on school security.

So why does this keep happening? Why did this shooter so easily access a school building? Surveillance footage shows him easily entering the building. The Texas governor said the shooter promised violence on social media 30 minutes before it happened.

Our industry and integrators have been touting the multitude of technologies available and procedures to implement – from the cutting edge to simple mechanical locks – to help prevent these incidents. Are they not being deployed?

A decade worth of tips, strategies and technologies need to be top-of-mind for all school stakeholders – from administrators to SROs; from teachers to custodians. Incidents like this should be basically impossible for someone to accomplish on the spur of the moment, as this shooter apparently did.

When things like this happen, with alarming regularity these days, talk in this country always turns to guns and their availability. Then everyone feels futile. Then we all forget. How about we focus on state and/or national mandates for basic security technologies and procedures across all schools? Wouldn’t this be more productive?

Why aren’t the PASS School Safety and Security Guidelines (https://passk12.org) – best practices specifically for securing K-12 school facilities – not only required reading for all these stakeholders, but required implementations for every school in the country?

The PASS School Security Checklist allows administrators to assess the current state of safety and security efforts in their school or district compared to nationwide best practices. The guidelines are free to download thanks to the efforts of volunteer contributors. Even if you have done it before, pass them along again…and again. Even schools with limited budgets can implement most of these risk mitigation measures.  

In this issue and in our archives are plenty of knowledge and other resources that may prove helpful for integrators as they decipher their role in this school security paradigm. Help your school security clients be as ready and safe as they can be. Read on in this issue and then access these past articles online:

In the end, there are more questions than answers, for sure, as we all attempt to heal from another deep wound to our confidence and faith in our society. Your role for now is to continue to educate.

Paul Rothman is Editor-in-Chief of Security Business magazine. Email him your comments and questions at [email protected]. Access the current issue, full archives and apply for a free subscription at www.securitybusinessmag.com.