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Virginia Incident Highlights Importance of School Security

School HallwayAn incident in Loudon County, Virginia led police to increase security measures at a high school and to bring criminal charges against a student. The recent event involved threats that the student made against the school on social media.

Troubling incidents like this one, including many recent tragedies, have made school security a pressing issue for administrators, parents and students across the country. School security budgets, however, do not necessarily increase with the awareness of vulnerability. Many school administrators have focused on security resources that offer maximum impact with minimum cost. Methods to secure entrances, including security cameras, access control panels, and window films are some effective options.

If you have questions about how to improve school security in Virginia or throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, we invite you to contact Maryland Security Professionals today for a free consultation. We can recommend customizable security solutions that meet both your safety needs and your budget.

VA teen threatened school online

The student made the online threats against Dominion High School, in Sterling, VA, on May 2, 2017. The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office acted quickly to track down the student and search his home. By May 10, the student who posted the threats had been charged with making threats in writing or electronically to kill or do harm. Police have not identified the 16-year-old because of his age.

The officers had found weapons in the home but determined they belonged to a relative and did not pose a threat to the school. The weapons were confiscated. Nonetheless, the sheriff’s department increased the number of officers patrolling the school as a precaution.

Effective school security guidelines

To meet the challenge of improving safety while working within a limited budget, schools are adopting custom solutions targeting problem areas and choosing options that can be expanded over time as the budget allows. The following are some effective school security guidelines:

  • Understand security as a process, not a milestone. Safety procedures should be followed continuously and periodically re-evaluated.
  • Enlist a professional to perform a security audit. A school security audit should include evaluation of the facilities from every vantage point (interior, exterior, and grounds), off-site operations like transportation, and other variables specific to the school and the community.
  • Control the access points. Adopt procedures that prevent uncontrolled access through propped doors and install an access control system that fits your budget with an eye to expansion as need and budget allow.
  • Cover windows with impact-resistant films. These will not completely prevent access through the window but will make breaking the glass much more difficult.
  • Consider on-site communication needs. Having a PA system that extends outside and allows for two-way communication increases response time in case of an emergency.

Security solutions in Virginia, Maryland, and the Mid-Atlantic region

The experts at Maryland Security Professionals, serving Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., take a one-on-one approach to design custom security solutions for schools that meet each site’s unique safety concerns. Contact us today to schedule a free security analysis of your school site.

More resources:

  1. WJLA, Officials: Security heightened at Virginia high school after threats made on social media, http://wjla.com/news/local/officials-security-heighten-at-virginia-high-school-after-threats-made-on-social-media
  2. Fox 5 DC, Extra police presence at Loudon County high school after police deem online threats untrue, http://www.fox5dc.com/news/252327069-story

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