School Safety and Security During School Hours

Kerry Goodwin

**By Kerry Goodwin, Puget Sound School Security Specialist**

After hours, school facilities can be locked up and secured, and the Sonitrol Pacific school security systems can be activated to notify of any intruder and police will be dispatched without personnel risk.

However, during school hours an intruder presents a myriad of concerns and problems. How can we mitigate these issues and create an environment where personnel and students are safe?

Provide all school personnel and students with A.R.R.M.R!

This doesn’t mean a metal suit: A.R.R.M.R is an acronym for ALERT, REPORT, REACT and MINIMIZE RISK

ALERT: All staff and students should be taught to be alert to anything or anyone that appears threatening. An environment must be created that encourages this awareness and training must be provided as to what to look for and listen for. Drills are an appropriate way to create this environment.

school cafeteria

REPORT and REACT: All staff and students should understand how and why to report any threatening activity. They should know that reports should be as detailed as possible, as accurate as possible and as immediate as possible. Again, drills are an appropriate way to provide this training.

MINIMIZE RISK: All staff and student should know how to respond quickly and effectively to minimize risk when a threat has been observed.

They should be appropriately instructed and DRILLED on these activities:

  1. ACCOUNT FOR ALL PERSONNEL AND STUDENTS
  2. CLOSE BLINDS WHENEVER AVAILABLE
  3. CLOSE AND LOCK ALL WINDOWS
  4. TURN OFF LIGHTS
  5. CLOSE AND LOCK ALL EXTERIOR ENTRY POINTS (assess interior doors)
  6. RETREAT TO “SAFE PLACE” AND REMIAN QUIET
  7. REMAIN SO UNTIL ADVISED BY KNOWN AUTHORITY

School security is a complex issue, but it is always better to be more prepared. Talk to your school and ask what practices they have in place for A.R.M.M.R.

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