Schools turn to outside security experts for advice as violence continues to rise
“Schools are trying to do all the right things but it’s often very difficult to know what they need to do.”
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As violence in schools continues to rise, some schools are hiring outside security experts for advice.
Related: 3 children, 3 adults killed in shooting at Tennessee elementary school
As mass shootings at schools continue to happen, schools are making efforts to heighten security to ensure the safety of their students. Public schools must follow the state’s security measures, but security for private schools is different. Jason Russell, former Secret Service agent and founder of Secure Education Consultants, said that with less funding from the state, it can be harder for private schools to get the safety measures they need.
“Just lack of policy and procedures or lack of training things like that,” Russell said. “I think schools overall are trying to do the best job they can to keep kids safe, they’re trying to do all the right things but it’s often very difficult to know what they need to do.”
Russell said when there is a lack of policy, his company works with the schools to create emergency plans, advise new security measures and work to make sure schools don’t just put all security into one area.
“So, for the physical security, which is obviously access control and making sure you’re only letting people in that are supposed to be there, so, keeping doors closed all of those things,” Russell said. “The policy and procedure layer which is the emergency plan, what do we have in place if something does go wrong. The training layer is really do we know how to respond if there’s an actual emergency.”
Russell says he doesn’t believe school shootings are a direct correlation to school shootings.
“I think that the issues that we’re dealing with a lot across the country are less security issues and more mental health issues, I think is what is really shining through,” Russell said. “And unfortunately, we’re seeing these people that are having mental health crises are committing violent acts.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the Covenant Presbyterian School shooting marks the 130th mass shootings in the United States this year.
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