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Billions are being spent to protect children from school shootings. Does any of it work?
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Armored school doors, bulletproof whiteboards and secret snipers

Billions are being spent to protect children from school shootings. Does
any of it work?

(Not much you idiots! As long as any disgruntled loser knows
the media will make him famous nation wide, they will find ways
to kill!)

School shootings have fueled a $2.7 billion school safety industry. What
makes kids safer?
The company that sells these bulletproof doors to schools says that
several they've talked to are “extremely interested.” (Cassi Alexandra
for The Washington Post)

By John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich in Orlando
Nov. 13, 2018
The expo had finally begun, and now hundreds of school administrators
streamed into a sprawling, chandeliered ballroom where entrepreneurs
awaited, each eager to explain why their product, above all others, was
the one worth buying.

Waiters in white button-downs poured glasses of chardonnay and served
meatballs wrapped with bacon. In one corner, guests posed with colorful
boas and silly hats at a photo booth as a band played Jimmy Buffett
covers to the rhythm of a steel drum. For a moment, the festive summer
scene, in a hotel 10 miles from Walt Disney World, masked what had
brought them all there.

This was the thriving business of campus safety, an industry fueled by
an overwhelmingly American form of violence: school shootings.

At one booth, two gray-haired men were selling a 300-pound ballistic
whiteboard — adorned with adorable animal illustrations and pocked with
five bullet holes — that cost more than $2,900.


“What we want to do is just to give the kids, the teachers, a chance,”
one of them said.

“So they can buy a few minutes,” the other added.

Elsewhere at the July conference, vendors peddled tourniquets and
pepper-ball guns, facial-recognition software and a security proposal
that would turn former Special Operations officers into undercover
teachers. Threaded into every pitch, just five months after a Parkland,
Fla., massacre, was the implication that their product or service would
make students safer — that, if purchased, it might save a life.

What few of the salespeople could offer, however, was proof.

Although school security has grown into a $2.7 billion market — an
estimate that does not account for the billions more spent on armed
campus police officers — little research has been done on which safety
measures do and do not protect students from gun violence. Earlier this
fall, The Washington Post sent surveys to every school in its database
that had endured a shooting of some kind since the 2012 killings of 20
first-graders in Newtown, Conn., which prompted a surge of security
spending by districts across the country.


Superintendent Randy Russell checks camera feeds at Freeman High School
in Rockford, Wash., which spent about $200,000 on new security after a
deadly shooting last year. (Rajah Bose/For The Washington Post)

Of the 79 schools contacted, 34 provided answers, including Sandy Hook
Elementary. Their responses to questions about what they learned — some
brief but many rich in detail — provide valuable insight from
administrators in urban, suburban and rural districts who, as a group,
have faced the full spectrum of campus gun violence: targeted,
indiscriminate, accidental and self-inflicted.

When asked what, if anything, could have prevented the shootings at
their schools, nearly half replied that there was nothing they could
have done. Several, however, emphasized the critical importance of their
staffs developing deep, trusting relationships with students, who often
hear about threats before teachers do.

Only one school suggested that any kind of safety technology might have
made a difference. Many had robust security plans already in place but
still couldn’t stop the incidents.

In 2016, Utah’s Union Middle School had a surveillance system, external
doors that could be accessed only with IDs and an armed policewoman,
known as a resource officer, when a 14-year-old boy shot another student
twice in the head during a confrontation outside the building just after
classes ended.

“Even if we would have had metal detectors, it would not have mattered,”
wrote Jeffrey P. Haney, district spokesman. “If we would have had armed
guards at the entrance of the school, it would not have mattered. If we
would have required students to have see-through backpacks and bags, it
would not have mattered.”

Excerpts from Union Middle School’s survey responses
What did you learn from the shooting?

“We believe all students should feel welcome in our schools. Our
principals, counselors, psychologists, and teachers are working hard to
make sure each school has a positive and inviting environment. Starting
this year, a school psychologist and/or social worker has been assigned
to every Canyons District school to support faculty and staff in
reinforcing positive behavior and creating a culture of inclusivity.”

Sandy, Utah

On Oct. 25, 2016, a 14-year-old boy shot an older teen twice in the head
during an after-school confrontation. The following responses were
provided by Canyons School District Spokesman Jeffrey P. Haney.

What type of drills, if any, had the school done before the shooting
(classic lockdown, active-shooter, ALICE or something else), and how
often had they been practiced?

“Union Middle, an 830-student school of sixth, seventh and eighth
graders, has completed at least four emergency-preparedness drills a
year since 2009…. The school conducted a drill for a ‘lockdown,’ which
is called when there is a direct threat to campus, on Sept. 21, 2016,
roughly one month before the traumatic incident on campus.”

What other types of safety measures, if any, did the school have in
place before the shooting (metal detectors, SROs, special door locks,
pepper spray, armed teachers, etc.)?

“Union Middle, built in 1968, has been retrofitted with security
measures such as a surveillance system, ID-access-only external doors,
and the presence of a certified and armed School Resource Officer whose
salary is co-funded by Canyons School District. In addition, the school
conducted regular safety drills.”

Did students and staff follow the drilling procedures they’d practiced?

“Yes. The students followed the directions of the administrators,
counselors and teachers who responded to the incident. The students were
immediately shepherded into classrooms and warned to take cover away
from windows and doors until told otherwise. After students were safely
inside the building, the doors were locked to safeguard those inside the
school from external threats.”

What ultimately ended the shooting?

“A teacher who had been assigned to after-school duty was the first on
the scene after she started walking toward a group of students who were
gathering as if they were going to watch a fight. She heard a sound, and
then began running toward the group of students. As she ran, she saw a
student with a weapon. Some students yelled, ‘This is a prank,’ but as
she approached, she realized that one student was severely injured. At
that point, the boy with the handgun slumped to the ground.”

In retrospect, what — if anything — do you believe could have been done
to stop the shooting from happening at all?

“At this point, we’re focusing on preparation. Students and teachers
must know how to respond to all kinds of emergency situations. Yes, it’s
unfortunate, but that’s where we are. We operate under the assumption
that tragedy can strike anywhere, if someone is determined to cause damage.”

What safety measures were put in place after the shooting?

“Canyons District this year… is giving all teachers access to a mobile
app called DIR-S, which provides the ability to immediately alert
authorities to any incident that is happening in their sections of the
school. The District is redoubling efforts to train students to use a
mobile app called SafeUT, an all-day and all-night link to
administrators and licensed counselors at the University of Utah.”

What did you learn from the shooting?

“We believe all students should feel welcome in our schools. Our
principals, counselors, psychologists, and teachers are working hard to
make sure each school has a positive and inviting environment. Starting
this year, a school psychologist and/or social worker has been assigned
to every Canyons District school to support faculty and staff in
reinforcing positive behavior and creating a culture of inclusivity.”

Sandy, Utah

On Oct. 25, 2016, a 14-year-old boy shot an older teen twice in the head
during an after-school confrontation. The following responses were
provided by Canyons School District Spokesman Jeffrey P. Haney.

The survey responses are consistent with a federally funded 2016 study
by Johns Hopkins University that concluded there was “limited and
conflicting evidence in the literature on the short- and long-term
effectiveness of school safety technology.”

The schools that have experienced gun violence consistently cited
simple, well-established safety measures as most effective at minimizing
harm: drills that teach rapid lockdown and evacuation strategies, doors
that can be secured in seconds and resource officers, or other adults,
who act quickly.

But fear has long dictated what schools invest in, and although campus
shootings remain extremely rare, many superintendents are under intense
pressure from parents to do something — anything — to make their kids
safer. It was the nation’s renewed anxiety, after 17 people were killed
at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in February, that had drawn so many
administrators to the National School Safety Conference at the Florida
hotel, 200 miles north of Parkland.


People wait to hear from students after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman
Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February. (Amy Beth
Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/AP)

Also there, hoping to capture some piece of the new spending, were 105
vendors, an all-time high for the expo and a 75 percent increase over
the previous year.

“This is our first school conference that we’ve ever done,” said SAM
Medical sales director Denise Ehlert, who, at one point that evening,
knelt down and encouraged a 6-year-old girl to tighten a tourniquet on a
woman’s arm as a way to demonstrate that anyone could do it.

“This is brand new. . . . This is our first show,” said Paul Noe, who
had come to sell a high-tech, armored classroom door that, for the price
of $4,000, he claimed could stop bullets, identify the weapon,
photograph the shooter and notify police. The bright yellow one they’d
put on display had been shot 57 times.


Bullets stopped by this armored classroom door, which costs up to
$4,000, are marked by the style and caliber of the weapon that fired
them. (Cassi Alexandra/For The Washington Post)

“We just released it in the past couple of months to be available to
schools, and we’ve been obviously overwhelmed with interest,” said Monte
Scott, who sells guns that fire balls packed with a potent pepper
mixture meant to disable a shooter. Scott had just returned from
training U.S. troops in Afghanistan on how to use the weapons in a
combat zone.

Echoing a frequent refrain at the expo, Justin Kuhn said his own
children, not money, led him to found his company, which produces an
elaborate door-security and weapons-detection system.

Although Kuhn, who had previously invented a scraper blade and a car
wax, acknowledged he didn’t know whether his new product would have
stopped the attack at Stoneman Douglas, he had still tried to leverage
the bloodshed. Standing next to his company’s 2,500-pound
aluminum-framed vestibule, he recalled a meeting in Indiana with one
district’s head of school safety who had noted that the price tag for
Kuhn’s entire system seemed steep.

“If you think $500,000 is expensive, go down to Parkland, Florida, and
tell 17 people $500,000 is expensive. That’s $29,000 a kid,” Kuhn
recalled saying. “Every person would pay $29,000 a kid to have their kid
alive.”


Freeman High upgraded its cameras to high definition after last year’s
shooting. (Rajah Bose/For The Washington Post)

By this spring, Huffman High in Birmingham, Ala., had, in security
parlance, been “hardened,” a term that in recent years has migrated from
anti-terrorism circles to school board meetings. Surveillance cameras
were mounted inside and out, and Huffman’s 1,370 students were
periodically checked for weapons, both with handheld and walk-through
metal detectors, administrators say. Three resource officers patrolled
the hallways.

But none of those measures saved the life of Courtlin Arrington, a
senior who was about to leave school one afternoon in March when a boy
showing off a handgun unintentionally fired it, sending a round through
the girl’s chest two months before her graduation.

How the weapon got into Huffman remains unclear — Arrington’s family has
sued the district, limiting what administrators can say — but the
incident highlights a theme that appears throughout the survey
responses: No amount of investment in security can guarantee a school
protection from gun violence.


Related story More than 215,000 students have experienced gun violence
at school since Columbine.

Much of what can be done to prevent harm is beyond any school’s control
because, in a country with more guns — nearly 400 million — than people,
children are at risk of being shot no matter where they are. A 2016
study in the American Journal of Medicine found that, among high-income
nations, 91 percent of children younger than 15 who were killed by
gunfire lived in the United States.

But several administrators did point to specific steps that at least
contained the attacks on their schools.

At Florida’s Forest High in April, for example, teachers and teens who
had undergone safety training locked classroom doors and barricaded them
with chairs and desks just seconds after realizing that a man with a
shotgun was in the hallway. He fired through one door and wounded a
student but surrendered shortly after failing to get inside.

A month later, at Dixon High in Illinois, resource officer Mark Dallas
heard shots near the school gym, rushed toward the noise and in, an
exchange of gunfire, struck the shooter, who was quickly arrested.


Increased spending on school resource officers

After the February shooting in Parkland, many school districts in
Florida sharply increased the amount they spent per school year for
armed officers.

St. Lucie County

Highlands County

Suwannee County

$1.6M

$1.1M

Parkland

shooting

$472K

$396K

$400K

$180K

2015-2016

2018-2019

’15-’16

’18-’19

’15-’16

’18-’19

Madison County

Union County

DeSoto County

$310K

$249K

$206K

$121K

$81K

$45K

’15-’16

’18-’19

’18-’19

’15-’16

’15-’16

’18-’19

Source: Data provided by school districts and compiled by The Post

THE WASHINGTON POST

Seven of the 23 surveyed schools that had officers at the time of their
shootings indicated that they played a direct role in limiting the harm
done. Still, what Dallas did is exceedingly rare. The Post’s analysis
identified just one other case over the past 19 years in which a
resource officer gunned down an active shooter. (To put that in
perspective, at least seven shootings in the same period were halted by
malfunctioning weapons or by the gunman’s inability to handle them.)

While the mere presence of the officers may deter some gun violence, The
Post found that, in dozens of cases, it didn’t: Among the more than 225
incidents on campuses since 1999, at least 40 percent of the affected
schools employed an officer.

Beyond armed security or any other particular safety measure, survey
respondents emphasized that nothing was more important to minimizing the
violence than preparation.


This Northern California school responded to a November 2017 shooting by
locking down in less than a minute. The gunman fired more than 100
rounds at the buildings but could not enter. (Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty
Images)

Last November, staff at Rancho Tehama Elementary, a school in rural
Northern California, heard what sounded like gunshots and hustled the
children outside into the building. All students and staff had locked
down, something they regularly practiced, 48 seconds after a secretary
called for it — and just 10 seconds before a man with an AR-15-style
rifle reached the quad. The gunman, who had already killed five people
during his rampage, fired more than 100 rounds, shattering glass and
tearing holes in walls.

He tried to enter classrooms and the main office, but all were secured.
Six minutes after arriving, he gave up and left, taking his own life a
short time later. One student, age 6, was wounded but survived.

Excerpts from Rancho Tehama Elementary School’s survey responses
What did you learn from the shooting?

“We are largely powerless from determined shooters with high-capacity,
high-velocity, semiautomatic assault rifles. Bullets from a 5.56 mm
rifle easily penetrated sealed windows, doors, cabinets and walls. But
lockdowns can save lives.”

Corning, California

On Nov. 14, 2017, a 44-year-old man with a ‘homemade’ AR-15-style rifle
went on a lengthy shooting rampage in Northern California and, after
arriving at the school, fired more than 100 shots, wounding a 6-year-old
boy who was hiding inside one building. The following responses were
provided by Corning Union Elementary School District Superintendent
Richard Fitzpatrick.

What type of drills, if any, had the school done before the shooting
(classic lockdown, active-shooter, ALICE or something else), and how
often had they been practiced?

“Since Sandy Hook, the district has conducted lockdown drills
regularly... It should be noted that these drills were done with
consistent behaviors and language, regardless of the perceived threat.
They also varied based on the location of the threat…. Crucial to the
survival of our students in the shooting, any adult employee is
empowered to trigger a lock-down.”

What other types of safety measures, if any, did the school have in
place before the shooting (metal detectors, SROs, special door locks,
pepper spray, armed teachers, etc.)?

“All schools in the district were equipped with ‘lock blocks.’ These
devices allow keyless locking from inside in less than a second. All
playground aides and office staff also had walkie-talkies, which were
utilized during the shooting.”

Did students and staff follow the drilling procedures they’d practiced?

“Flawlessly. The campus was completely locked down within 48 seconds of
it being called.”

What ultimately ended the shooting?

“After firing over a hundred rounds of 5.56 mm at the buildings, the
shooter became frustrated by his inability to gain access to the school.
He left and, some minutes later when confronted by law enforcement, took
his own life.”

Did any of the safety measures specifically work — meaning, they kept
students safe from harm — and if so, which ones?

“Yes. Lockdown and lock-blocks prevented any loss of life. One
kindergarten student was shot through a building wall in the chest and
foot. He recovered. There were no other injuries on campus, despite six
fatalities in the incident in other areas of the town.”

In retrospect, what — if anything — do you believe could have been done
to stop the shooting from happening at all?

“Sensible gun control. The shooter had an AR rifle which he purchased
online in parts. A ‘ghost’ gun. He was prohibited by the courts from
owning or possessing firearms.”

What safety measures were put in place after the shooting?

“The shooter rammed a locked gate to gain entry to the school. His truck
was stuck in the gate, delaying his ability to access the school quad.
This allowed the valuable seconds to complete the process. A six-foot
wrought iron fence was installed in the front of the school, which
previously had a three-foot fence. An armed security guard is now
present at the school during all school hours.”

What did you learn from the shooting?

“We are largely powerless from determined shooters with high-capacity,
high-velocity, semiautomatic assault rifles. Bullets from a 5.56 mm
rifle easily penetrated sealed windows, doors, cabinets and walls. But
lockdowns can save lives.”

Corning, California

On Nov. 14, 2017, a 44-year-old man with a ‘homemade’ AR-15-style rifle
went on a lengthy shooting rampage in Northern California and, after
arriving at the school, fired more than 100 shots, wounding a 6-year-old
boy who was hiding inside one building. The following responses were
provided by Corning Union Elementary School District Superintendent
Richard Fitzpatrick.

The school’s security plan worked “flawlessly,” wrote Superintendent
Richard Fitzpatrick, but that didn’t diminish the indignation he felt
that his students and staff had suffered through the terror — and that
so little had been to done ensure someone else couldn’t attempt to do
the same thing, there or at any other American school.

The attacker, who had been stripped of his guns by a judge, had built
the weapons he used with parts, many of which are readily available online.

Without what Fitzpatrick called “sensible gun control . . . We are
largely powerless from determined shooters with high-capacity,
high-velocity, semi- ­automatic assault rifles.”


This Orlando expo for school security products had a record 105 vendors
in July, 75 percent more than last year’s. (Cassi Alexandra/For The
Washington Post)

The idea for Jordan Goudreau’s business came to him in Puerto Rico,
where he had traveled to work in private security in the aftermath of
Hurricane Maria. Goudreau, a U.S. Army combat veteran, was making lots
of money on the island, he said, but the new opportunity was too
enticing to pass up.

“I saw Parkland, and I was like, ‘Well, nobody’s really tackling this,
so I want to fix this,’ ” Goudreau explained at the expo in Florida,
where the state legislature had just committed more than a
quarter-billion dollars to school safety.

The solution, Goudreau concluded, was to embed former Special Operations
agents, posing as teachers, inside schools. He argued that the benefits
over resource officers were obvious.


First, because the children wouldn’t know who his guys really are (or
that they’re armed and adept at counterterrorism tactics), students
would be more likely to open up, giving agents a chance to glean
information that could expose a potential threat.

“He’s just a — he’s a cool shop teacher: ‘Hey, what’s up, fellas,’ ”
said Goudreau, 42, envisioning a potential conversation with a child. “I
go sit down with a kid who’s alone, playing ‘Dungeons and Dragons,’ and
I just try to see whether there’s any problems.”

Second, Goudreau said, his men all thrive in combat and could quickly
snipe a shooter.

“The beauty of it is it’s all for the price of a Netflix subscription,
so it’s really hard to argue with me about, ‘Well, it costs too much.’
You can’t tell me that,” insisted Goudreau, hair buzzed and jaw square.


Jordan Goudreau wants to charge parents $8.99 a month to embed former
Special Operations agents inside schools. (Cassi Alexandra/For The
Washington Post)

No schools had yet signed on for the program, and he still hadn’t worked
out a number of the business plan’s precise details, but Goudreau was
certain that he wanted to bill the parents of each student directly (for
$8.99 a month) so his staff could remain independent from any district’s
“chain of command.”

When the media relations liaison standing beside him at their booth
suggested that, if necessary, they could go through school boards and
accept government money, Goudreau cut him off.

“But we don’t want to. We don’t want that,” he said. “We want private
money, because it’s faster.”

Among the many challenges educators face in trying to protect their
students from harm is determining what product, or person, to trust.


These guns fire balls packed with a potent pepper mixture meant to
disable a shooter. A saleswoman from SAM Medical shows a tourniquet at
the expo in Orlando. (Cassi Alexandra/For The Washington Post)

As Home Depot and Walmart market $150 bulletproof backpacks to
frightened parents, administrators are being inundated with pitches from
entrepreneurs pushing new concepts that make grand promises. One
superintendent who responded to the survey said that within hours of a
shooting earlier this year, her inbox was “flooded from vendors with
some pretty disrespectful and tacky statements: ‘had you had this
. . .’; ‘if you had this . . .’ ”

The industry is also rife with self-appointed experts and consultants
who claim to know what safety measures are most effective, but given
that so little government or academic research has been done on what
insulates students from on-campus gun violence, it’s enormously
difficult for schools to reach conclusions based in fact.

“Decisions about whether to invest in school security technology for a
school or school district are complex,” the Johns Hopkins study said.
“Many choices about the technology selected, however, may be made with
incomplete information or with information that is influenced more by
political or reactionary consideration than by local conditions.”


Superintendent Randy Russell checks in to Freeman High’s sign-in system,
which can run real-time background checks. (Rajah Bose/For The
Washington Post)

For administrators at the expo, trying to understand which vendors were
true authorities was especially tricky, in part because, like Goudreau,
dozens had worked in other industries before pivoting to school security.

Joe Taylor, co-founder of Nightlock, created a residential door
barricade 15 years ago after someone tried to break into his parents’
home. Back then, he never envisioned producing a version for classrooms.
Now, schools make up 95 percent of his business.

As he explained that the company had made the transition after being
bombarded with requests following the Sandy Hook shooting, a man
approached his booth.

“I just bought about $7,000 worth of these,” said Cas Gant, an assistant
principal from a charter school in Panama City, Fla.

Taylor noted that, at one point, his devices were back-ordered nearly
two months.


Nightlock owner Joe Taylor, center, sells 95 percent of his company’s
door barricades to schools. (Cassi Alexandra/For The Washington Post)

“Right after the Parkland shooting —” he said, pausing.

“A surge?” asked Gant’s wife, Desiree.

“There was a big surge,” he said. “But we’re finally caught up.”

“That’s good,” she said. “Anything to keep our babies safe.”

As the men continued discussing the door lock, Desiree looked around,
taking in the scene. Her husband had attended school safety expos
before, but this was her first.

“This is sad. I came in here with my mouth wide open,” she murmured.
“Isn’t it scary that we literally have to go through this — that all of
these vendors are here?”

Carl Manna, an assistant principal at another Florida high school, felt
the same way as he wandered the room, though none of this was new to him.

At one booth, he paused to stare at a photo from Forest High showing the
desks and chairs that had been stacked to the classroom’s ceiling to
keep the gunman out. Months earlier, Manna had pretended to be an active
shooter in a training video his school produced.

“That,” he said, “is what the room looked like after I left.”

1:49
Critics argue that one aspect of the training known as “Counter," which
teaches students to confront shooters, is dangerous and irresponsible.
(Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

The video opens with Manna, in jeans and a dark hoodie, stalking
Branford High’s hallways. In his right hand, he holds a water pistol
wrapped with black tape.

Manna, also the narrator, explains that the video would review “ALICE”
training, a set of strategies developed by an Ohio-based company that
teaches people how to respond to active shooters. The acronym stands for
Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. “The proper use of these
five steps could save your life,” he says, as the video illustrates a
series of widely accepted approaches to staying safe in an
active-shooter situation.

Then, at the 2:13 mark, a plastic Germ-X hand sanitizer bottle appears
on the screen, followed by a 20-ounce Mountain Dew, a travel mug and an
Adobe Photoshop hardcover textbook.

“Once you have locked and barricaded the door, quickly move to an area
out of sight,” Manna says. “Grab several items you can use to protect
yourself. Every room is equipped with something that could distract and
defend against the aggressor.”

Seconds later, the video shows Manna and a disguised administrator at
another high school each entering classrooms, their guns raised. When
Manna walks in, he’s bombarded with flying bottles, books and a backpack
before the teenagers rush him. In the other video, kids tackle the man
to the floor directly beneath an American flag mounted to the wall.

This is what the ALICE Training Institute describes as “counter.”

The drills have grown in popularity in recent years, and many schools,
including some of those surveyed, have credited its conventional
lockdown and evacuation training with saving the lives of students and
staff. But numerous ALICE critics — including consultants, school
psychologists, safety experts and parents — have argued that teaching
children to physically confront gunmen, under any circumstances, is
dangerous and irresponsible.

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“What if the person is ex-military or the person has police training,
and you’re teaching the student to throw a can of green beans or
attack?” asked Joe E. Carter, vice president of business development and
marketing at United Educators, an insurance company that covers more
than 800 K-12 schools around the country. “I haven’t seen any data out
there — real data — that this is something that makes it safer.”

Representatives from ALICE, which was founded by a former police
officer, insist that the counter strategies should be used as a last
resort and that schools are responsible for deciding what’s suitable for
their students. Colleen Lerch, a marketing specialist at the company,
said their instructors recommend “SWARM” techniques — in which kids may
gang tackle shooters — only to students who are at least 13 or 14 years old.

“At this age, it is statistically very high that the shooter will be the
same age as potential victims. A room full of 14 year old’s can easily
control another 14 year old,” Lerch asserted in an email to The Post,
though she provided no evidence to support either claim.

In fact, a third of shooters who attack middle and high schools are
older than their victims, according to a Post analysis. Also, while The
Post found that adults who were not members of law enforcement have
subdued more than a dozen school shooters over the past 19 years —
including on at least three campuses that underwent ALICE training — the
company could not point to a single case in which students used its
counter techniques to take down a gunman.


Parents and students leave Freeman High near Spokane, Wash., after last
year’s shooting. (Colin Mulvany/Spokesman-Review)

On multiple occasions, however, students who have confronted armed
attackers, whether on purpose or accidentally, have been killed or
wounded. Last year, a 15-year-old boy was shot to death at Freeman High,
just outside Spokane in rural Rockford, Wash., after he tried to stop an
armed student in the hallway. Three months later, a 17-year-old was
killed when he came upon a gunman in the bathroom who was readying an
attack at Aztec High in New Mexico, and a 17-year-old girl was wounded
when she did the same thing at Alpine High in Texas two years ago.

Excerpts from Aztec High School’s survey responses
What did you learn from the shooting?

“Preparation in advance was key as teachers and staff reacted and did
not have to think about what to do. That saved a lot of lives on that
day. Radios are key in communication as that is what started the
lockdown as it came from a custodian. Training in advance from all
stakeholders is huge, things like incident command training, doing
drills, ensuring you have relationships and collaboration with all
emergency entities….”

Aztec, New Mexico

On Dec. 7, 2017, a 21-year-old man with a Glock 9mm semiautomatic
handgun shot and killed two students before firing at others and
eventually killing himself. The following responses were provided by the
Aztec Municipal School District.

What type of drills, if any, had the school done before the shooting
(classic lockdown, active-shooter, ALICE or something else), and how
often had they been practiced?

“Our school had done lockdown drills, shelter in place, fire drills,
etc. Our district has been actively involved in tabletops and live
drills over the past 10 years and has a great relationship with the
Emergency Management Office of San Juan County. At these tabletops, all
the other local school districts in our county also participate, so we
were prepared because of many years of drills and scenarios.”

What other types of safety measures, if any, did the school have in
place before the shooting (metal detectors, SROs, special door locks,
pepper spray, armed teachers, etc.)?

“We have access controls, which means we could and did lock all outside
doors once the event started. Our standard procedure is all classroom
doors are locked all day.”

Had the school worked with an outside safety consultant of any kind
before the shooting?

“Yes we have done extensive work with San Juan County Emergency
Management Office. For over 10 years, we have had monthly safety
meetings with a committee that involves different agencies and reps from
the other school districts in the county. In addition we have conducted
and attended tabletops with different scenarios, including active
shooter…. In addition, we had Homeland Security do a safety audit of our
campus several years ago.”

What ultimately ended the shooting?

“Self-inflicted gunshot wound. There was a fast response by local law
enforcement and the shooter could not get into rooms and police arrived
on scene within 3.5 minutes and as a result of this he shot himself.”

Did any of the safety measures specifically work — meaning, they kept
students safe from harm — and if so, which ones?

“Hide measures and locked doors so the shooter could not get in the
room. In addition during the event fire alarms went off, but we are
trained not to exit and when this happened administration got on
intercom and gave instructions not to exit the rooms.”

In retrospect, what — if anything — do you believe could have been done
to stop the shooting from happening at all?

“Not sure anything could have stopped the evil coward from committing
this act of violence.”

What safety measures were put in place after the shooting?

“Security, both armed and partially armed. Student badges and we are now
applying for grants to try and limit the number of access points onto
the campus. It is a wide open campus that sits on 11 acres and has a
city street that runs through it that separates it into two different
parts. In addition there are many buildings that are separated from one
another.”

What did you learn from the shooting?

“Preparation in advance was key as teachers and staff reacted and did
not have to think about what to do. That saved a lot of lives on that
day. Radios are key in communication as that is what started the
lockdown as it came from a custodian. Training in advance from all
stakeholders is huge, things like incident command training, doing
drills, ensuring you have relationships and collaboration with all
emergency entities….”

Aztec, New Mexico

On Dec. 7, 2017, a 21-year-old man with a Glock 9mm semiautomatic
handgun shot and killed two students before firing at others and
eventually killing himself. The following responses were provided by the
Aztec Municipal School District.

Malcolm Hines, head of safety for the Florida district where Manna
participated in the active-shooter video, understood criticisms of the
counter training but said he also suspected some parents would object if
the kids weren’t taught how to defend themselves.

“This is an option for them to at least fight back,” said Hines, whose
district has paid ALICE more than $7,500 since late last year.

In numerous ALICE training videos online, the plan always works to
perfection: Students pelt the faux shooter with objects the moment he
appears, then — without hesi­ta­tion — several kids charge the intruder,
easily bringing him to the ground before he fires a shot.

It’s ludicrous, critics say, to think that children would behave with
such decisiveness and precision if they were facing a real gunman.

“There is no research/evidence . . . that teaching students to attack a
shooter is either effective or safe,” Katherine C. Cowan, spokeswoman
for the National Association of School Psychologists, wrote in a
statement to The Post. “It presumes an ability to transform
psychologically from a frightened kid to an attacker in the moment of
crisis, the ability to successfully execute the attack on the shooter
(e.g., hit the shooter with the book or rock, knock them down, etc.)
again in a crisis situation, the ability to not accidentally hurt a
classmate, the reality that unsuccessfully going on the attack might
make that student a more likely target of the shooter.”


A memorial for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre outside a home in
Newtown, Conn., in 2013. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son, Dylan, was killed at Sandy Hook
Elementary in 2012, concluded long ago that much of America looks at
school safety the wrong way.

“It’s so much focus on imminent danger and what you do in the moment,”
she said, “as opposed to what you do to stop it from happening in the
first place.”

Hockley and her colleagues at Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit she
co-founded, have argued that reforming gun laws would make a difference,
but she knows that there are other, perhaps more attainable, ways to
prevent harm, too. In March, her organization launched the Say Something
Anonymous Reporting System, which allows users to privately submit
safety concerns through a computer, phone or app.

Because many, if not most, shooters offer some indication of their
intentions through comments to friends or online, Hockley has for years
encouraged students to speak up if they’re aware of a potential threat.
Often, though, kids said that they feared repercussions, a concern that
the anonymity should alleviate.

The service, which is free and will be adopted by more than 650
districts by January, has already produced meaningful results.


Nicole Hockley, shown with husband Ian in 2013, co-founded Sandy Hook
Promise, which launched a system to discreetly report safety concerns.
(Jessica Hill/AP)

At the start of this school year, the organization said, a tipster
informed the crisis center that a student who might have access to guns
had talked about shooting gay classmates. Staff immediately contacted
local law enforcement and school district leaders, who intervened. In
another case, someone reported that an eighth-grade friend was cutting
herself and considering suicide. Sandy Hook Promise said the girl is now
receiving treatment.

The system and others like it address what several of the surveyed
schools said was the only thing that could have stopped the shootings on
their campuses: a tip from someone who knew it might happen.

No one at a South Carolina school knew that a former student would drive
there and open fire on the playground two years ago, but afterward, the
superintendent in Anderson County, Joanne Avery, fixated on finding
another way to keep her kids safe.

Avery overhauled the school system’s safety measures after the shooting,
adding resource officers, increasing the number of active-shooter
drills, installing trauma kits, updating surveillance systems and
providing receptionists with panic buttons.

She changed one district practice, too.


The shooter, who was 14 at the time, had been expelled from a middle
school in a neighboring district after making threats and bringing a
hatchet in his bag. It was then, in his isolation as a home-schooler,
that he became obsessed with mass murderers and planned his attack on
Townville Elementary.

So, early this year, when the principal at one of her schools asked to
expel a student who’d talked on social media about bludgeoning
classmates, Avery said no.

“I’m not just going to expel him and be done with him,” she recalled
telling the principal. “You’re going to increase your chances of that
person coming back to your school and doing harm.”

Instead, Avery met with the sheriff’s office, a prosecutor and the
area’s executive director for mental health.

“We’ve got to do something for these kind of kids,” she told them, and
what they did was conduct a criminal investigation, charge the boy and
set a court date.

She attended, and although the student’s mother argued that he should be
released, Avery had told the prosecutor she wanted to make sure he got
help. The judge listened, sending him to juvenile detention and ordering
that he undergo a mental health evaluation and receive counseling.


Months later, at another hearing, the boy’s mother argued again that he
should be released. Avery didn’t oppose that, but again, she asked that
he continue to receive support. And again, the judge listened, sending
the boy to an alternative school and ordering that he and his mother
receive additional counseling. A probation officer was also assigned to
check on him every week.

Avery doesn’t know whether the boy ever would have carried out his
threats. But she witnessed the damage caused by 12 seconds of gunfire —
a first-grader dead, survivors overcome with trauma, a community
splintered — and she does know what her time and effort cost: nothing.

About this story
Video editing by Amber Ferguson. Graphic by Danielle Rindler. Design and
development by Courtney Kan.
a425couple
2018-11-19 21:42:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a425couple
from
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/local/school-shootings-and-campus-safety-industry/?utm_term=.06ab7e0501d5
Armored school doors, bulletproof whiteboards and secret snipers
Billions are being spent to protect children from school shootings. Does
any of it work?
(Not much you idiots!  As long as any disgruntled loser knows
the media will make him famous nation wide, they will find ways
to kill!)
School shootings have fueled a $2.7 billion school safety industry. What
makes kids safer?
By John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich in Orlando
Nov. 13, 2018
The expo had finally begun, and now hundreds of school administrators
streamed into a sprawling, chandeliered ballroom where entrepreneurs
awaited, each eager to explain why their product, above all others, was
the one worth buying.
A few of the reasonable comments include

Doggy1
9:18 AM PST
A child's chance of dying in a school shooting Is extremely remote. 1 in
640,000,000. Any expense to address this remote risk is a waste. WaPo
has reported on this.


Karl Lagerfeld
11/16/2018 1:12 PM PST
Armored school doors, bulletproof
whiteboards and secret snipers

Billions are being spent to protect children from school shootings. Does
any of it work?

I'm going to go on a limb here and suggest that an invest in billions
for children's safety will be far better used by upgrading our crumbling
school facilities, lowering class sizes, providing adequate counseling
support, and offering different teaching/classroom techniques for
students who learn differently. Possibly by doing this we can stop
children from falling through the cracks and teaching all children the
power of the mind. I imagine the ROI would be far greater in using the
money this way.
Snit
2018-11-19 21:55:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a425couple
Post by a425couple
from
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/local/school-shootings-and-campus-safety-industry/?utm_term=.06ab7e0501d5
Armored school doors, bulletproof whiteboards and secret snipers
Billions are being spent to protect children from school shootings.
Does any of it work?
(Not much you idiots!  As long as any disgruntled loser knows
the media will make him famous nation wide, they will find ways
to kill!)
School shootings have fueled a $2.7 billion school safety industry.
What makes kids safer?
By John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich in Orlando
Nov. 13, 2018
The expo had finally begun, and now hundreds of school administrators
streamed into a sprawling, chandeliered ballroom where entrepreneurs
awaited, each eager to explain why their product, above all others,
was the one worth buying.
A few of the reasonable comments include
Doggy1
9:18 AM PST
A child's chance of dying in a school shooting Is extremely remote. 1 in
640,000,000. Any expense to address this remote risk is a waste. WaPo
has reported on this.
Karl Lagerfeld
11/16/2018 1:12 PM PST
Armored school doors, bulletproof
whiteboards and secret snipers
Billions are being spent to protect children from school shootings. Does
any of it work?
I'm going to go on a limb here and suggest that an invest in billions
for children's safety will be far better used by upgrading our crumbling
school facilities, lowering class sizes, providing adequate counseling
support, and offering different teaching/classroom techniques for
students who learn differently. Possibly by doing this we can stop
children from falling through the cracks and teaching all children the
power of the mind. I imagine the ROI would be far greater in using the
money this way.
Improve education and reduce mass shootings. It does not have to be one
or the other, and it is absurd to minimize either.
--
Personal attacks from those who troll show their own insecurity. They
cannot use reason to show the message to be wrong so they try to feel
somehow superior by attacking the messenger.

They cling to their attacks and ignore the message time and time again.


Just Wondering
2018-11-19 22:35:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Snit
Improve education and reduce mass shootings. It does not have to be one
or the other, and it is absurd to minimize either.
What SPECIFICALLY should be done to "reduce mass shootings"?
You needn't bother answering. It is absurd to suppose that
you have any concrete solution.
Snit
2018-11-19 22:56:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Just Wondering
Post by Snit
Improve education and reduce mass shootings. It does not have to be
one or the other, and it is absurd to minimize either.
What SPECIFICALLY should be done to "reduce mass shootings"?
I do not have all the answers, but I would like to see more research on
it and have us be informed by current research:

https://www.icloud.com/pages/0XiBH5dWXdOBFSedm4D6Lw8mQ
Post by Just Wondering
You needn't bother answering.  It is absurd to suppose that
you have any concrete solution.
One need not have a concrete solution to say one wants to work on a
problem and follow evidence-based solutions.
--
Personal attacks from those who troll show their own insecurity. They
cannot use reason to show the message to be wrong so they try to feel
somehow superior by attacking the messenger.

They cling to their attacks and ignore the message time and time again.

http://youtu.be/H4NW-Cqh308
Just Wondering
2018-11-20 06:43:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Snit
Post by Just Wondering
Post by Snit
Improve education and reduce mass shootings. It does not have
to be one or the other, and it is absurd to minimize either.
What SPECIFICALLY should be done to "reduce mass shootings"?
I do not have all the answers
You don't have ANY answer.
Post by Snit
but I would like to see more research on
No, you want to let loose the CDC to sponsor gun-control
targeted "studies".
Post by Snit
Post by Just Wondering
You needn't bother answering.  It is absurd to suppose
that you have any concrete solution.
One need not have a concrete solution to say one wants
to work on a problem and follow evidence-based solutions.
Not only do you lack a concrete solution, you don't even
have an abstract solution. So it's clear, you want something
done but have no idea what that something might be.
Snit
2018-11-20 14:09:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Just Wondering
Post by Snit
Post by Just Wondering
Post by Snit
Improve education and reduce mass shootings. It does not have to be
one or the other, and it is absurd to minimize either.
What SPECIFICALLY should be done to "reduce mass shootings"?
I do not have all the answers
You don't have ANY answer.
As long as you do not consider the idea of evidence-based policy to be
any answer at all, sure. But that is YOUR issue, not mine. I back
evidence-based policies.
Post by Just Wondering
Post by Snit
but I would like to see more research on it and have us be informed by
No, you want to let loose the CDC to sponsor gun-control
targeted "studies".
See: you feel the need to speak FOR me because you cannot refute what I
say.
Post by Just Wondering
Post by Snit
Post by Just Wondering
You needn't bother answering.  It is absurd to suppose
that you have any concrete solution.
One need not have a concrete solution to say one wants to work on a
problem and follow evidence-based solutions.
Not only do you lack a concrete solution, you don't even
have an abstract solution.  So it's clear, you want something
done but have no idea what that something might be.
See: you show NO understanding of what is being said. None.

Bottom line: you want NO real solution. You value your guns more than
you value the lives of people. And THAT is a very big problem in this
country.

While I am not saying we should take all guns, frankly if we did the
only think I would offer you is "thoughts and prayers" as you cry over
your loss. Your loss, of course, would be trivial in comparison to the
loss people go through daily in this country... but your tiny little
loss is all you can think of.
--
Personal attacks from those who troll show their own insecurity. They
cannot use reason to show the message to be wrong so they try to feel
somehow superior by attacking the messenger.

They cling to their attacks and ignore the message time and time again.

http://youtu.be/H4NW-Cqh308
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