Saturday, December 12, 2009

School Security Article

The following school security excerpt is from a Wall Street Journal article I was quoted in earlier this year. The full AASA school security survey that I developed is available at As always, I welcome your comments.

In a recent survey of 445 educators conducted by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), nearly 80% of respondents called school-safety funds "stretched" or "inadequate." Yet many also said they left quick, inexpensive fixes undone. More than 15% reported that their school entrances are neither locked nor monitored. A third confessed to propping open doors, giving intruders easy access. One in five didn't equip recess and field-trip monitors with walkie-talkies to report suspicious sightings or brewing conflicts.

And 29% either had no safety committee or indicated doubts about its effectiveness. Such committees are intended to bring together parents, teachers and local law enforcement at regular intervals.

"Many, many districts still have the Mayberry mentality -- we're nice and quiet and it won't happen here," said Paul Timm, President of consulting firm RETA Security.

Schools hold regular fire drills because they are mandated by law. They work; no student has died in a school fire for decades. But Mr. Timm says far too few schools hold lock-down drills, or run tabletop simulations of a crisis with police and paramedics.

What are your thoughts?

-------- Paul Timm, PSP

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