Asking the Right Questions Matters
School Security is Best Approached Systematically
by Bill Yanek
Post Sandy Hook and Boston, our nation’s leaders are heavily investing time and effort into securing our public venues. The Boston situation is just sorting itself out, but school security after Sandy Hook continues to resonate with the public.
The materials used to secure schools are just one aspect of school security. Comprehensive school facility security must incorporate a systematic approach.
Entry Protective Measures: Making it more difficult for an individual to gain access to a facility makes sense for an initial consideration. Hardening entry areas could be as simple as enhancing the glazing systems so an attacker would be slowed or prevented from access.
Egress May Be Just as Important: Since 1992, there have been 387 school shootings and in those shootings, almost 60 percent of the victims were between the ages of 10-19. However, an interesting correlation is that same age group contributes to almost 70 percent of the shooters as well. So, it is worth considering that individuals who are not of student age invading schools for shootings occurs as a minority, not the majority, of attacks. Protection is important, but for attacks originating from the student body or student-age individuals, egress considerations must be given significant consideration.
Individuals likely to engage in attacks: Dealing with this part of a school facility system is certainly beyond the scope of the glazing industry, but must be addressed by our elected leaders. No entry or egress protective system is perfect. So, school security stakeholders need the best available information and support in identifying individuals most likely to threaten schools.
Ask the right questions: A few years back, famed economist Art Laffer addressed a GANA event. When asked about whether he thought our elected leaders could eventually solve, or even help, our economic woes, he struck an optimistic tone. He said that eventually our elected leaders get policy right—especially if they ask the right questions.
With regard to school security, the debate is how to best secure schools and other public facilities previously deemed “soft” targets. If we keep the focus on achievable solutions, eventually good policy (and building) will follow. A great first step in helping our leaders to ask the right questions would be to place a copy of this issue in their hands, and soon.
GANA also has a Protective Glazing Committee and if you are interested in joining, please visit www.glasswebsite.com.
Commonly Utilized Resources for Protective Glazing
• ASTM F 1233 Standard Test Method for Security Glazing Materials and Systems
• ASTM F 1642 Test Method for Glazing and Glazing Systems Subject to Airblast Loadings
• ASTM F 2912 Standard Specification for Glazing and Glazing Systems Subject to Airblast Loadings
• ASTM E 1886 Standard Test Method for Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors, and impact Protective Systems Impacted by Missiles and Exposed to Cyclic Pressure Differentials
• ASTM E1996 Standard Specification for Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors and Impact Protective Systems Impacted by Windborne Debris in Hurricanes
• GANA’s Laminated Glazing Reference Manual
• GANA/PGC International Protective Glazing Manual
• GANA PGC 01-0707 Bullet Resistant Glazing
• GANA PGC 02-0509 Blast Mitigating Glazing
• GANA PGC 04-0210 Detention Facility Glazing
• FEMA’s Primer to Design Safe School Projects in Case of Terrorist Attacks and School Shootings
• NIJ 0108.1 - Ballistic Resistant Protective Materials
• UL 972 Standard for Safety for Burglary Resisting Glazing Material
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