How can you improve your child's safety when they are returning back to school?

Preparing for the students before they return back to the school is a big step as a parent. And once again school shootings are back has left a lot of parents and teachers worried if this will happen to them. 21 weeks into 2018, 23 school shootings, averaging out to more than one shooting per week in the United States. In 1974, Israel endured the Ma’alot Massacre in which “Palestinian” terrorists took 115 people hostage at Netiv Meir Elementary School. Twenty-two children and three others were killed and 68 injured. Israel now requires schools with 100 or more students to have a guard posted. The civilian police force handles the entire security system of all schools from kindergarten through college. The Ministry of Education funds shelters and fences, reinforces school buses, and hires and trains guards.

With Parkland, Stoney Douglas, Santa Fe, Columbine, parents are more rightly concerned more than ever. As a parent myself, I worry about my children when they are going to school on a daily basis for years, since after Columbine Massacre, I began to teach my children at home everything I knew as a security officer. We began practicing security at home. We devised a strategy called "Intruder Drills", Prevention-Deterring-Defense Drills. It consists of a plan in action and surprise drills that allow us to be mentally ready if we encounter a home invasion. Much like the A.L.I.C.E. but we focus on Prevention method mostly, then hwo to deter and defend against unwanted intrusion. The first lesson I taught my children was that every intrusion is a life and death threat, until we gain control of the threat and it is neutralized. Second step was developing an "Safe Room" which we could go to call 9-1-1- and begin preparing for the exit. Every safe room should have a contingency plan, an exit. The house has WIFI Cameras inside and outside the home so we can not only have an eye on the inside and out, but we can live stream during an event so the police can see what we see. Identifying the threat, location and measures to eliminate it. Sounds daunting? We made it into a common household practice until everyone knows their role, and where to go. This actually eliminates much of the fear, and confusion when and if an actual home invader does try to enter our home. I also teach my children when you see something that is harmful, say something to a parent or an adult. Especially a teacher.

Our teachers are trained to protect our children. Many schools are opting to not have teachers carry firearms. So the measures for them and the students are to simply lock the door and hide away from the door window. We have seen this is not enough. A few resource officers working the inside of the schools, are proving to be not enough either.

What I have been teaching fellow parents is this: Begin teaching self security at home. Teach them to focus on their surroundings. When in doubt, run to their teacher for help. And to help the teacher focus on an exit strategy. Along with fighting back if necessary. Simple tools that can help your child is to buy backpacks with kevlar in them. They last much longer wear and tear wise, but against a knife or bullet, it will increase their chances of survival. Most school shootings last up to 5 minutes from start to finish. Schools that are becoming more proactive with their security measures, will be more sucessful with prevention. Most people think that it ends there. The other area is sporting events. Especially with football season here, a school called Auburn in Rockford Illinois was playing against a town called Freeport on August 24th that ended the game 10 minutes early. Shots were fired from outside the stadium, and everyone went into a panic. One student injured her shoulder in the process. What did this teach us? Are we just focused on reaction vs prevention? We should treat our children more precious than gold like in Ft. Knox.

I am a expert security consultant in Freeport, Illinois, and I consult homes, business, schools and churches across America. Time to rely on the expert like myself who is focused on prevention, deterring and defense. I can help devise a worthy plan, with delegated positions for teachers, clergymen, etc to learn how to prevent, deter and defend against any level of threat.

Shawn Starry

Home Security Consultant LLC


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