From Rocks to Detection Systems, Schools Consider Protection Options

May 31, 2018

In the wake of several mass shootings this year in U.S. schools, lawmakers have adopted “red flag” gun bills allowing officials to remove firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others.

School districts across the country are also working to protect students in a variety of ways.

An Idaho school district will hire its first armed guard this summer in an effort to improve school safety. According to the Coeur d’Alene Press, Lakeland Joint School District Assistant Superintendent Lisa Sexton says the district’s ultimate goal is to have an armed guard at each of the district’s 11 schools in addition to the two current school-resource officers.

A Pennsylvania school district is taking a decidedly different approach – a bucket of rocks. According to an article earlier this year published by the Washington Post and written by Eli Rosenberg, schools within the district were to be supplied with a five gallon bucket of river stone for the express purpose of stoning a classroom attacker.

The largest school system in Georgia, the Atlanta Public Schools, is planning to develop training to teach students how to protect themselves during a school shooting.

There’s even a detection system that can detect gunfire in seconds. Designed by former law enforcement and fire department personnel, active shooter detection and mitigation systems can automatically detect gunshots, aggressive speech, breaking glass and other violent actions. It can also be manually activated by occupants with the press of a panic device, or activated and controlled from an on- or off-site command center.

Intrusion Technologies, manufacturer of the patented Active Intruder Mitigation System (AIMS) Generation 5, explains that it is activated at the onset of a violent event and instantly closes and secures all doors outfitted with a safety device (making them “safe rooms”), delivers critical event information to 911, provides real-time video feed to a command center and emergency responders, sounds a unique siren alert at the facility, flashes red LED light trees, gives voice instructions to safe room occupants, provides mass notification via text and/or email, and activates an optional non-allergenic, non-irritating fog device in common areas, that can be deployed by first responders or facility personnel trained in its proper use.

The system also features a first responder override component that allows law enforcement personnel to individually enter each room to search, clear, evacuate and provide medical care to any injured without someone on the inside having to risk their personal safety to answer the door, preventing an attacker pretending to be a responder from gaining access to potential victims.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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