Archive for the ‘School safety’ Category

Facial recognition: Why not in schools?

July 31, 2018

Some schools are already doing it!

Many schools have security systems that include cameras sending live feeds that are monitored by security personnel.

The AP reports that some Lockport, NY  schools are going a step further by implementing facial recognition technology that checks each face against a database of expelled students, sex offenders, disgruntled employees and other possible troublemakers.


In addition, the system can be programmed to scan for some weapon “tells” (think: guns or knives in waistbands) and can be matched against a complete file of student and faculty pictures.

Though the system has potential life-saving benefits, some folks are opposing it…


Students push back on ‘common sense’ safety measures

April 2, 2018

… because they “infringe on our rights”

According to the NY TImes

Since the Florida school shootings, the state and local school district have taken some steps to provide enhanced security:

The state “set aside $8.5 million for the school district to pay for at least one armed police officer at each school starting in the fall” … and, supplemental Florida Highway Patrol troopers will be deployed to “on alert” schools.

In Broward County, “all schools … will have single points of entry by early 2019.”

“Students and staff will be issued identification badges, which they will be required to wear at all times while in school.”

My POV: This is a good first step, which can eventually beefed up with scannable IDs … or, better yet, RFID trackers.

So far, so good.


Here’s where the rub comes in …


America’s safest school …

March 9, 2018

Yesterday, we highlighted some of the techno-security innovations at Disney World.

All park attendees (10s of thousands each day) are screened at the entry gate, bag-checked and digitally-fingerprinted.

Guests wear identity-linked Magic Bands that contain RFID chips … allowing their every movement around the park to be real-time tracked.

Cameras are everywhere … and thousands of pictures are snapped by cute Disney characters …  (for facial recognition probably.)

Beneath the terrain is an army of well-armed former SWATs and SEALs … ready to deploy instantaneously if a security event arises.

That’s the state-of-the-art at amusement parks.



Here’s the state-of-the-art for schools …



Southwestern High School in Shelbyville, Indiana is oft-cited as “the safest school in America” Source

The core components in the SHS security system:

1) Cameras mounted throughout the school providing real-time video feeds to the local law enforcement offices (think: casino video rooms)

2) All teachers have emergency fobs that can be used to set off a school wide alarm and simultaneous alert law enforcement… who rush to the school and ask questions later.

3) If an active shooter is suspected, “students barricade themselves in a corner out of view of a potential shooter who might be looking through the windows of a locked, bullet-proof classroom doors.” (think: submarine compartments)

4) An electronic device in each classroom enables a teacher to signal if students are safe or to signal if medical assistance is needed.tell law enforcement their classroom is safe, signal if they need medical aid or ask for help if they’ve seen the suspect.

5) If a shooter is pinpointed on the real-time videos, the the area can be sealed off and, if appropriate, smoke cannons can be activated to limit the shooter’s visibility.

6) Local law enforcement has clear protocols that direct first-responders to enter the school and “neutralize” the shooter.  Police do regular practice runs “just in case”. (think: not Broward County Sheriff’s department)

Click to view a video of the safest school in America

See, Say. Hear, DO !

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Seriously, do you want ME packing heat?

February 28, 2018

In yesterday’’s post, I advocated posting this sign at all schools ASAP.



It sends a clear message that students’ safety is important … it might deter one or more potential school shooters … and it cleverly ducks the question of whether school personnel can (or do) pack heat.

How many school personnel are authorized?

Maybe all … or some … or none.

That’s a policy question that needs to be resolved …. but sign-interpretation is in the eyes of the beholders.

Maybe a potential shooter or two will be deterred.

That’s enough to justify the signs.


OK, so what about the policy question?


School safety: Here’s something that can be done today …

February 27, 2018

There’s a rationale and some evidence – albeit spotty and disputable  — that the following types of signs deter most burglars:



So, here’s the sign that I’d post at all schools starting today…


The sheriff’s BIG mistake …

February 26, 2018

During last week’s CNN-staged “Town Hall”, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel attacked NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

Israel told Loesch that she wasn’t standing up for the students:

“You just told this group of people that you are standing up for them. You’re not standing up for them, until you say I want less weapons.”

The hand-picked CNN crowd erupted in support.


He was the hero of the moment, but may rue his attack.

Predictably, the NRA struck back:


Does the NRA have a point?


“See something, Say something.” isn’t good enough.

February 23, 2018

There were chilling social media threats.

A hard tip to the FBI.

39 welfare calls to local police.

The school’s armed security officer “stood outside the building where the shooting occurred rather than going in” Source

The first 3 first-responders (sheriff’s deputies) stayed outside waiting for SWAT to arrive.

Why say something if an alert (1) puts you at risk of a defamation suit and (2) isn’t likely to result in any preventative action?

The egregious miss by the FBI, local police, social services and school officials seems to have already vanished from the post-mortem discussion.

Here’s the bumper sticker I want to see.



And, can we please stop talking about having a “conversation”.

Let’s have a plan … and start implementing it!




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