Don Shomette

People are the Prize

What Do You See Wednesday (Review & Discussion) 5 March 2014

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Thank you for all of those who voted in our poll to decide whether to continue with What Do You See Wednesday?  100% of those who voted said, “Yes” so we will gladly continue to post and comment on new pictures weekly.

Let’s review and discuss the last, ‘What Do You See Wednesday’ from 5 March 2014.

First, here’s the picture:

exit doors

Here is what others had to say:

Corporal Rob Sarnoski: School has numbered the door inside and out with large, easy to see, numerals.  This can save first responders time and enhance situation awareness when officers unfamiliar with a school can quickly state their location or the location of a threat.  School officials might want to consider minimizing paper on entry/exit doors.  Even a little bit of paper blocks what can be seen inside or outside the school.  If a paper has to be posted, it might be better on the side windows.  The sidewalk/road outside the doors still looks a bit slippery/snow covered.  This area may need another application of shovel and salt.

Thanks, Rob for the comment. Very thorough and very helpful.

I just want to add four points.

1. Pylons
Snow, ice, and cars driving directly in front of the doors worry me.  I’d like to see some metal pylons to prevent someone from crashing through the doors (accidently or otherwise).

2. Stairs are very close to the door.
Anyone who is let in or is able to gain entrance will quickly and very easily have access to the second floor.  It’s good to play the ‘what if’ game.  What if someone was able to gain entrance here—where could they go before we could confront them?  The fact that a person could be deep inside the school before we even see them can raise the level of vulnerability in a particularly entrance and may require tighter access control.

3. Bag of salt.
Salt crystals are large and can sometimes block the door from closing completely, while appearing to be fully closed.  Remind those putting down salt to keep it a few inches away from the door frame and to make sure that the doors are firmly closed after each coating.

4. Close to the street.
If you look closely you can just make out a guard rail, a home in the near distance, and in-between the two a black surfaced road that runs directly in front of the school. Look how close the road is to the school.  Because of the closeness of the road, the school has very little time or opportunity to see a potential threat turn off the highway and enter the school parking lot.  This lack of time to react will require extra vigilance on the part of the students, staff, and teachers to project greater surveillance and supervision of the outside of the school.  All threats have to enter a school.  No one just magically appears.  The school lacks distance from the road which will lessen their time to react.  This concern has to be a focal point of their security plan and daily safety procedures.  This also makes the proximity of the stairs to the door now a little bigger issue and reminds us that so many safety concerns are interconnected.  One by itself can be bad, but when you start adding them up, then our response takes on a greater urgency.

Author: Don Shomette

Don Shomette is a trainer, speaker, consultant, and owner of People are the Prize, a violence prevention company that helps people to prevent and survive a school attack. He has spent a lifetime working with police officers and principals and is consistently evaluated by those who attend his trainings as one of the best instructors ever. Don challenges, entertains, and helps school personnel to think of preventing violence in a new and positive way.

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