In the mist of all these shootings and bombings, when I walk into a school I am constantly thinking about how these terrorists would get access to the school. And I am always surprised when the school site invites them in.
Over the years, I have helped several security consulting firms master CPTED principles and develop audits for schools. One of the big things that the auditors are suppose to look at is the layout of the main office. Is the desk too low, too short, open on one side, is there visibility to the main entrance, etc. These are all items that help deter or block uninvited and unwanted visitors from penetrating too far into the campus.
What shocks me every time is one of the school sites puts their main office on the 2nd or 3rd floor when the main entrance is on the ground level. Today, I walked into a school as part of a routing inspection and the main office was located on the 2nd floor. I could have easily roamed around 12 or so classrooms and did what I wanted – and so could have a terrorist.
The next time you have to modernize a school or construct a new one, think about security first and put your main office next to the main entrance.