Safety prompts different solutions

Branden Alford, Editor-In-Chief

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Technology aide Monica Suter checks into the new security system by the front door, using the new swipe cards bought this year. (PHOTO: Casey Withers)

In the wake of several mass shootings in the past few weeks, the obvious question on America’s mind is how to protect students.

It seems like all news media can talk about is how President Trump wants to arm teachers. While this is one possible solution, people across the nation are ignoring new, innovative ideas that show promise of protecting students.

In response to incidents at schools such as Sandy Hook, app developers have created specific security panic buttons for specific school districts.

These apps typically include several different panic buttons, including ones for school shootings, fires, hazardous chemical release, and other emergency type situations. After pressing one of them, a text message is sent to emergency crews who have signed up and been trained as first responders for these types of situations, dramatically decreasing response times and saving lives.

Also in response to these shootings, the Barracuda Intruder Defense Systems have become extremely popular. In essence, floor plates or steel bars are placed on the interior of the door, preventing the door from swinging open until the threat has cleared. This security system is cheap to install and extremely effective.

At Healdton schools in Healdton, Oklahoma, superintendent Terry Shaw has  installed new Shelter-in-Place bullet-proof rooms. These enclosures take up one corner of a class and can fit up to 35 students, more than enough to fit even the largest classes at BHS. These shelters include self-contained power, water, air filtration, and can withstand consistent barrage from weapons such as AR-15’s and AK-47 rifles. These shelters are also fire- and tornado-proof.

Superintendent Shaw said, “I hope these units will never have to be used, but this school is prepared if a situation arises.”

While many of these security options are expensive and space-consuming, expert security analysts highly recommend implementing them in order to save the lives of students.

BHS is also responding the rise in violence at schools across the nation.

According to Superintendent Craig Marshall, “We are re-keying all of the outside doors throughout the district to make sure we have all outside keys accounted for, to make our buildings as safe as possible. [Also,] we are going to be replacing all the door handles throughout the district so that rooms can be locked from the inside.

Finally, “. . . our administrators and directors will be reviewing our crisis plans this summer to make sure they are current and up-to-date with the best methods to handle an intruder.”

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