Written By: Brad Campbell | April 12, 2023
Of all the school safety issues that US schools have to worry about, targeted violence is the most serious and has the potential to result in major tragedies, as we’ve unfortunately seen over and over again during the last couple of decades.
Because of the very real risk of such active threat scenarios at schools across the country, it’s more important than ever for schools to find ways to mitigate these threats, especially through implementing effective physical security measures.
School safety issues like bullying and harassment are far more prevalent and affect the day-to-day lives of students and teachers more than targeted violence.
However, a series of high-profile school shootings resulting in tragic mass casualty situations have brought targeted violence to the forefront of conversations about school safety and security in recent years.
Such active threat incidents have also led to an increased effort on the part of the US federal government to mitigate violence in schools and improve school safety across the country.
According to the National Institute of Justice, there have been federal programs and policies in place to address violence in schools going as far back as the 1970s.
But it wasn’t until the 90s, when a series of school shootings (including the tragic Columbine shooting) occurred, that the US government really started to look at ways to better prevent and respond to targeted violence in schools.
Some of the government’s programs and policies involve schools implementing new security technologies and practices, and today there are a wide variety of school safety and security grants available to help schools pay for these technologies and security measures.
Outside school photo
Examples of security technologies and practices that schools have increasingly implemented over the past couple of decades include:
Things like alarm systems and security cameras are important components of any comprehensive school security system, but there’s one vital thing they don’t do — physically prevent attackers from gaining access to school buildings and classrooms.
Sure, access control systems and locked doors make it harder for intruders to gain entry, but they don’t stop the bad guys from breaking a vulnerable window to open a door from the inside or climb right in.
Schools are full of windows that help facilitate a positive learning environment by letting natural light in, providing views of the outdoors, and allowing for observation of classrooms.
Unfortunately, the presence of so many windows also means that schools are incredibly vulnerable to forced entry.
This is why it’s of the utmost importance for schools to install Riot Glass® access denial barriers over vulnerable windows.
Riot Glass® access denial barriers are composed of 100% unique blends of polycarbonates, acrylics, other plastics, and security laminates, resulting in security glazing (glass) that outperforms and outlasts all similar access denial products on the market.
Using retrofittable framing adapters, Riot Glass® can be installed on top of, behind, or in place of almost any existing glass surface, creating a virtually unbreakable barrier to protect people and property.
For schools, these access denial barriers are the best way to secure buildings and classrooms against forced entry and mitigate the threat of violent attacks.
Riot Glass® provides physical protection during active threat scenarios and creates a delay to forced entry that allows people to react by running, hiding, barricading themselves inside somewhere safe, and waiting for the authorities to arrive and neutralize the threat.
When used in tandem with other essential school security measures, Riot Glass® drastically reduces the chance of injury and loss of life on school grounds in the unfortunate event that a violent attacker targets them.
Not only that, but Riot Glass® glazing shields also protect against a full range of other security threats that schools have to worry about.
Riot Glass® secures schools against:
As we mentioned earlier, an abundance of windows provides schools with a range of benefits that improve the learning and teaching environment for students and faculty.
Because of this, schools aren’t good candidates for traditional forced entry barriers, such as bars, grates, and shutters.
Scissor gates and roll down shutters are excellent for security, but are limited to protecting only when a school or business is closed. In an active threat scenario which occurs during campus or business hours, shutters and gates are not deployed and are therefore not viable. Riot Glass on the other hand, is the ‘always there’ solution.
Riot Glass® looks and feels very much like standard window glass and, even when installed on top of the existing glass, doesn’t significantly change the appearance or functionality of windows.
In other words, Riot Glass® fortifies schools, without making them look fortified. It provides the physical protection against active threats that many schools are lacking, without changing the learning environment.
Plus, since Riot Glass® is fully retrofittable, it’s a very cost-effective security upgrade for schools — much more so than replacing windows with other types of security glass out there.
There’s also a wide range of Riot Glass® options available, including containment-grade (non-ballistic) and ballistic-grade (bullet-resistant) varieties, to suit all school security goals and budgets.
A Riot Glass® retrofit project can easily be done on nights and weekends or during school breaks, so as not to interfere with learning and to avoid making students or teachers uncomfortable.
Additionally, we can work with schools and local glass contractors anywhere in the US to get Riot Glass® delivered and installed to our high standards.
We’re dedicated to helping schools improve the physical safety and security of students and educators with Riot Glass® security glazing.
Contact us today for more information or for a free consultation.
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