Preventing & Preparing For a School Shooting

Preventing & Preparing For a School Shooting
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We understand that these topics are not a lot of fun to talk about or even read about online. However, this is the world we live in and we must be prepared for anything if we want to strive and survive. This blog will be based on the newest research from the NIJ and the things they believe will help school administrators prevent school shootings in the future. Finally, how can ShotStop® help create safe schools for our children? 

School Climate

I’m uniquely qualified as a former high school history teacher to speak on the importance of establishing a safe school climate. According to the NIJ, schools that are under-resourced are more likely to have suspensions for illegal acts committed by students. School systems that fail to collaborate with their teachers and staff members are more likely to foster negative environments. 

As a teacher in a major U.S. city, I can attest to my experience with a school that was underfunded and had poor relationships between teachers and administrators. "There was violence almost every day from fighting to attacks on teachers, many times with weapons." 

The findings from the federal government would indicate that schools with this kind of negativity foster violence. It takes a lot of work from everyone in each community to fix a school system that is broken. School Administrators are the ones that can make the biggest difference with a little bravery and grit. ShotStop® can help schools be as prepared as far as ballistics protection. 

HOW CAN WE FIX OUR SCHOOL CLIMATE?

The toxicity in education is a reason that a third of all teachers are leaving the profession. According to EducationWeek, 73% of teachers are either going to leave teaching within the next 2 years or are thinking about leaving. 

The Covid Pandemic has changed the way a lot of people around the world view their lives. It seems like people in all professions are rethinking their priorities and moving them back to family and friends. Administrators must push for teacher pay increases and support their teachers and staff in order to improve school morale. Schools with higher morale have fewer suspensions and violence. 

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The good news is that once the staff feels appreciated and respected, the mood is often contagious. I can tell you that many of the teachers (including me) try their best to put on a good face, but our students can read the mood of the room. Whether we admit it or not teenagers are smarter than we often give them credit for. However, negativity is also contagious and teenagers are often very vulnerable.

The home lives of some students is enough to shed a tear, especially when there isn’t much we can do as a teacher. Providing an environment that all students can feel safe is the number one priority for every parent, teacher, and administrator. Achieving this goal is not as difficult as it’s been led to be believed. 

How Do I Improve School Safety?

As an administrator, you can prepare your school for the worst-case scenario and provide ballistic protection for your schools. I know that most administrators are at the beckon of the school board, but you can lobby for ballistic protection that is affordable for school districts. I’m confident that I can assume every administrator knows and most likely follows the guidelines on school safety by the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS)

PASS

The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) is one of the specific guidelines for administrators to follow when evaluating the security of their schools. PASS gets the majority of its information from federal agencies that collaborate with them. We will write a full guide to PASS in a future blog if the public is interested (click the like button at the bottom). For the sake of time, I want to focus on 2 specific components for school safety. These components are Architectural and People

Architectural 

A tier 1 priority for PASS is those priorities that have the highest level of importance. The Pass Security guideline (pg 87) states that all school administrators should provide reinforced walls and doors to each of their schools. PASS encourages schools to install ballistic protection inside the drywall of their schools (pg 87 D.). The good news is that ShotStop® produces ballistic armor through a product called BallisticBoard®. 

One of the high priority guidelines that PASS recommends for schools is to “ allow classroom doors to swing open toward the corridor for easy exit without impeding the movement of others in the corridor”. BallisticBoard® is incredibly effective at stopping multiple hits from both handgun and rifle rounds and weighs around 2 lbs per square foot and is only 0.5” thick. Our Duritium® technology allows us to create a flexible, lightweight, and multi-hit level of protection without negatively impacting the infrastructure from excessive weight. 

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BallisticBoard® is the perfect response to providing an advanced level of security that every school deserves in a lightweight free-swinging door panel. If a school shooting occurs with our ballistic board installed, a classroom door, bathroom door, library door, gym door, and administrator’s office doors will serve as shields for our children and school staff. 

If you’re a school administrator and interested in learning more about how ShotStop® can help, contact our sales team at sales@shotstop.com. 

As a ballistics protection design and manufacturing company, we’ve not licensed install contractors, but we do have suggestions for installers. The process normally goes smoother when we work directly with trusted contractors that are performing the installation. 

As we’ve stated in our previous blog Armored Police Cars | What Law Enforcement Needs to Know, we’re limited in production to simple shapes, such as doors and wall inserts until early 2022 due to the high demand for our ballistic armor. 

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We’re continuing to build our relationships with contractors and installers to meet the needs of our customers. Our goal is to eventually be able to provide completely custom-built ballistic protection around and sized objects, such as vehicle doors, hoods, and trunks. 

People (Roles and Training) 

The 2nd component to the PASS Safety Guidelines is the People Roles & Training It is unfortunate that we live in a society where active shooter drills and ballistic doors and desks are necessary, but it’s important we train with the equipment if we want to be able to use it during high stress. We can’t expect students to think about a door saving their lives if they don’t train during the day on how to react.

Imagine if students and teachers could train together and have unlimited sources of ballistic protection in a school, why wouldn’t we think about it? BallisticBoard® can turn every classroom from a death trap to a secure room. Training the students to remember that the doors, desks, and walls are protected with BallisticBoard®, is vital to overall survival. 

It’s true that most teachers have a large desk that stretches a quarter length across the room. What many people don’t know is that the added length to the desk is there to accommodate everything you’d need to teach 150 students every day. 

Shotstop® is able to provide a panel that covers the top, sides, and bottom of the desk to be used as a cover for students to get behind if a shooter is around. Training how to properly use cover and ballistic doors can save hundreds of lives over a 5 year period. As long as the desk is built with squares and rectangles, we can provide protection immediately. 

How Can ShotStop® Help Schools?

Shotstop® offers a Bulletproof Backpack insert that is capable of stopping multiple hits from most handguns and some rifle bullets. Providing every possible tool to help survive an active shooter targeting schools is a top priority of Shotstop®. Our backpack inserts added with our BallisticBoard® wall and door inserts will offer some of the best protection that technology and policy allow right now. 

Why Choose ShotStop®?

The easiest thing to do is stop reading this article and say, “it sounds good, but we can’t afford it…”. We are a business that wants to succeed, but we’re also a business that believes in supporting our community. Our motto, “We Protect the Protectors” applies to the educators who spend just as much time with our children as most parents do. 

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Here at Shotstop®, we know our children and families are the most important assets in our world. We will work with any school, university, community college, or trade school to give their students and staff the best possible chance to survive a school shooting. We offer discounts for bulk orders and will always work with education facilities to find a way to afford this high level of protection. We believe there is no price that matters when it comes to our children’s safety, we offer the highest quality ballistic protection that is NIJ-Listed. 

Conclusion

School Administrators have one of the toughest jobs in America and are given a ton of responsibility, including school safety. Shotstop® is reaching out to all school administrators that want to get a headstart on becoming a beacon of hope in school fortification. 

Schools around the country will want to know everything about your school in hopes of providing better security for their own. Shotstop® would love nothing more than to help secure our schools in a way that is conducive in the 21st century. We’ve had multiple school systems and professional buildings reach out already, don’t let time slip by and forget to reach out to us at sales@shotstop.com.


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