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Did everyone else get a letter from their child's school today regarding the shooting in Connecticut? I was so shocked and saddened this past week to hear about what happened to all those innocent people. It is absolutely unbelievable. It looks like our local county schools will be readdressing their safety precautions as a result of this tragedy. Do you think the public school campuses are safe enough? Do you think it is too easy for someone to get on campus? What changes (if any) do you think could be made to make our schools safer?

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20121217/WIRE/121219674?p=1&... 

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I can't speak for all schools in alachua county but will say that the ones that my kids have attented you can walk right into them and most doors to the rooms are not locked.
Some have put a fence up around them but you can walk in the main entrance and get to the halls
I think maybe a safe room could be put in the rooms, it could be a bathroom just made a little larger and built as a safe room.
Also the main office entrance could be built to where you would need to be buzzed into that might just be enough to stop someone.

If you look at Sandy Hook, they did everything right. They had a lock down procedure in place. The entry doors locked as soon as classes started. They drilled for lock downs, had locks on the classroom doors and had designated safe places to shelter the kids out of view.

But, like most schools, they had glass entry doors. It's common to have glass storefront style doors in modern schools. They let in light and look nice. But the idea that you can secure a glass door by locking it is silly. Anyone crazy enough to shoot at children isn't going to be afraid to break some glass.

Either replace the standard tempered glass with ballistic (bullet proof) glass, or sacrifice the aesthetics and install solid core or steel doors.

The glass in doors is  mandatory by safety codes--it allows you see if someone is on the other side of the door before opening it--it also allows people to see in so the teachers/adults are in plain view at all time to prevent issues from arising. It has nothing to do with how it looks---are the schools safe? Per se? No--anyone can walk on campus and into the halls at any time--we have gone to a "least restrictive environment" for all students and to be honest this isn't in the best interest of some as exhibited by the perpetrator's behavior at a school--some kids need to be in a protected environment. Some kids need help that we as a society aren't providing--when the only option is to have your kid locked up by the police then we aren't doing much of anything right by our kids. Until our systems change--no school will come anywhere near being safe. Kids who are charged with crimes simply keep shifting from one school to another--the schools by law can't tell the new school that they have a kid coming in who has been charged with molesting other kids at school, etc. This is the reality that we have allowed to occur and what teachers have to deal with daily on top of everything else. More mandates and standardized tests aren't going to fix any of this--we need to do a complete and total overhaul of the entire educational system as per Finland and start all over. 

 Glass entry doors are in no way mandatory under any Florida "safety codes"..Do you have a clear glass entry door on the front of your house? If not, you should install one immediately so people can look in and make sure everything is okay with you and your family at all times. Or do you have a solid door with a view hole so you can see who's on the other side before you open it?

Classroom doors, where the kids and teachers actually are, are governed by code and required to be  solid, and fire resistant with a narrow section of reinforced safety glass.  If you want to make a building safe, make it more difficult for people who would like to do the occupants harm to get inside in the first place. Or, move to Finland, I guess..

This is a code enforced by the school boards statewide-it went into effect several years ago. ALL doors much have visibility---some type. Period. It is the school's choice to make the front doors a solid clear substance---but you must have visibility. I know--I had them come and cut a lovely hole in my classroom door and put in the visibility panel. So much for being able to hide the kids during a lockdown.

That's exactly what I said. The school board's architectural decision to use a large framed piece of storefront glass is not a regulation. It's a purely aesthetic choice, and it's a mistake. Someone can fire a single shot at a glass door and walk through it in a second. Nobody is walking through a solid core door with a 10" wide strip of reinforced safety glass, unless the gunman is 10" wide himself. You can meet the standard for visibility in a lot of ways without making a door entirely out of glass.

Anything you can do to slow a gunman down saves lives. Lanza stopped killing kids and took his own life the moment he heard police closing in. He had enough rounds to kill everyone in the school if he'd had time.

Impede a gunman's ability to get into the building in the first place and you shorten the time he has to kill before police respond. Another minute or two for a guy with an assault rifle can mean dozens of lives. Solid core entry doors with a strip of reinforced safety glass and reinforced jambs. Period..

From a security and safety expert:

"There are two categories that protect people better than anything else: access control, which includes a locked vestibule, running a closed campus, visitor management procedures; and communications.

Do we have public address systems, do we have telephones that are outfitted with emergency dialing instructions, do we have two-way radios?" Timm said. "Those two areas, more than cameras, more than metal detectors, more than burglar alarm systems, protect people."

Locked vestibules can literally stop an intruder in his or her tracks. As administrators have become more concerned about security, many schools have restricted access to just one main entry point in the hope of doing that, Timm said."

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