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Bulletproof Receptionist Revisited

January 11, 2013

When Timberlane decided to ‘harden’ the schools a few years ago, I dismissed the exercise as a waste of money. Once the lock-down was complete, I reported that…

  1. the doors were routinely propped open
  2. the doors could be opened by an intruder with a folded piece of paper

Newtown reinforced the futility of this exercise.  Newtown had the fashionable deterrents and the shooter simply blasted through them.  Naturally, people are again concerned about the safety of schools and school administrators are trying to reassure with equally futile measures.  For instance, I had to stand outside the doors of the PAC and wait for someone to open the door for me to enter the building for a public meeting.  I wasn’t carded or frisked — I just had to wait for someone to open the door for me.  Had I been a shooter, the next day’s headline might have read, “Jovial Timberlane Employee Welcomes Shooter at Door.”

I drop my kid off each morning and am confident I could walk into the school with the kids —  probably unnoticed.  Even if that was not possible, who would stand behind a locked door and do nothing if a shooter grabbed a kid and said, “Open the doors or I’ll kill this kid!”  What would stop someone from simply showing up at the school when the kids are getting on or off buses?

The point is that there is not enough money in the world to harden a public school against what happened in Newtown.  It makes much more sense to deter, detect, and deactivate a threat.

Suggestions to station armed guards at the schools have been dismissed.  This, in fact, is the best way to deter, detect, and deactivate a shooter on the school grounds.

With growing police departments and declining enrollments in the district, Timberlane should have an armed officer on the premises during school hours.  The schools and our children are the community’s most valuable resources.  Why wouldn’t you want to co-locate police with your most valuable resources?

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