Weighing the Costs of School Security Products

To Spend or Not to Spend?

With school lockdowns being the norm these days, we have to ask ourselves “What is the best use of school funds when buying school security products as protection from an active assailant?â€


Well, there are many â€protective†products being sold out there right now. All with the goal of protecting our students and staff.


All of these products are noble in use and design. Some are more complicated than others. Some more expensive than others.


I am sure that if schools had an unlimited supply of money, they would buy just about every gadget or device to keep their school safe.


But, sadly, they don’t have enough money for school security products. They barely have enough money to buy the essentials needed to teach!


Schools get money from the government passed down for designated usage. 


And some schools get more than others. Even with grant money available to obtain, schools still struggle with funding.


But that’s another blog topic for another day. 


School Budgets


The budgeted amount of money schools have for security and safety products in this violent culture is the issue at hand.


Let’s think about what happens in an active shooter situation.


The teacher hears gunshots in the hallway. What does he/she do first?


Well you better bet they are gathering the students to huddle in the “safer†corner. 


On the way to gather, he/she locks the door, covers the window on the classroom door and turns off the light. (Locks, Lights, Out of sight)  Then returns to the safer corner to keep kids calm and quiet. This is all in the first 20 seconds. 


What are the variables of failure here?


Well, it would be the lock on the door and the window covering for starters. 


Lockdown Window Covers


If the door is already locked as many schools mandate now, then good. Cross that off the list of things to think about. Now, what about the window covering? That’s an area of concern. 


I have been to many, many schools all over the US and I have seen some very poor window coverings.


I’ve seen computer paper taped together, homemade curtains leaving gaps, miniblinds with broken or crooked louvers, cardboard hanging half off the window etc. The worst was no covering at all. This leaves the line of sight open to the shooter. 


It’s been proven that shooters like to see their victims. So, window covers are a must.


These teachers are trying. These teachers are concerned. There is anxiety around this entire issue. 


Money has to be spent on door locks and window covers.


I’ve seen advertisements for a bullet proof folding room that the teacher has to pull out. Nice idea but very costly. And is there time to set this up? 


Barricade devices take extra time for the teacher to install or deploy. 


Computer software apps on the phone take extra time and you have to have your wits about you to remember your passcode, etc. 


Security items that have to be retrieved out of a desk will not be retrieved because the teacher is busy getting the students in the corner.


 And what if it is missing? 


What if there is a substitute teacher that does not know the whereabouts of this device? 


Or how to deploy?


Keeping Lockdown Procedures Simple


Keeping the lockdown procedure simple and effective is the goal. 


Spending precious school money on products has to make sense and be effective … every … single … time.


 No chance of failure. 


Shelter Shutters are more expensive than computer paper, roll up shades and handmade blinds. But, they are worth it. 


They are attached to the door at all times, ready to be used with a simple flip of the shutter.


You don’t have to apply them, look for them in your desk, or wonder if the window is covered completely.


Because, crouching in a corner with 25 kids trying to be quiet, the teacher should not have to worry if their window covering is actually covering the window. Completely.