Since Sandy Hook

“Since Sandy Hook, a gun has been fired on school grounds nearly once a week” – May 18, 2018

We all see the headlines, but do we think this could happen in our neighborhood with our children? We can’t afford to take chances. Building a well-thought-out security plan and threat assessment plan is critical to every school today, not only for possible active-shooter situations, but for natural disasters, fire/explosions and many other types of critical incidents that may occur.

Below is a detailed account of shootings by US State, victims killed/injured/other see the below link and map.  We will layout some considerations in terms of an “Active Shooter Check-List” below, as supplied by Campus Security Magazine.

The “Active Shooter Checklist” is not a perfect list. Many of the solutions listed here can also help with other security and safety issues your campus or district might be encountering. Please note that K-12 schools and districts have their own distinctive needs that must be addressed on an individual basis. Organizations should seek legal advice and consult with local law enforcement, fire officials and a Visual Plan Security Expert before implementing these recommendations to determine if they are appropriate for your organization.



  • Signage posted at driveway entrances stating that video surveillance is in use
  • Signage posted about “no weapons” policy for the facility
  • Well-lit parking areas with good visibility from the facility
  • Well-lit campus for nighttime activities to ensure visibility
  • Trees and shrubs regularly trimmed to ensure visibility on campus
  • Security team performing visible patrol activity in marked vehicles, bike patrols and foot patrols. Consider having vehicles with light bars activated
  • Designated assembly areas (both on campus and off campus) for evacuation are maintained
  • Law enforcement officers or nonsworn security officers present on campus and conducting visible activities


  • Visitor/student access limited to controlled entry points
  • Classroom doors swing inwards and have locks that can be locked from inside the classroom
  • Staff access points monitored to prevent “tailgating” and other unauthorized access
  • Visitors are “channeled” into a reception area — no direct access to student areas from an entry point
  • Campus law enforcement officers and security officers have a visible presence in the reception area
  • Reception areas are well marked and reception personnel are trained to recognize and respond to potential signs of impending violence/aggression
  • Police and/or security patrol activities are conducted regularly to ensure that no entry points are com-promised (doors propped open, etc.) K-12 Education Facilities
  • Badge audits/key audits are conducted regularly to ensure that all access credentials are accounted for
  • Policies and procedures supporting access control and visitor management adopted
  • Metal detection deployed when appropriate at events. Consider conducting random checks on campus.
  • Security film installed on large windows


  • Reception personnel are trained in recognizing signs of potential violence and making notification
  • Reception staff trained on verbal de-escalation techniques
  • Panic alarms installed so staff can summon for help during an emergency
  • Reception personnel have drilled in how to evacuate, shelter in place or defend during an active shooter incident
  • Reception areas are well marked
  • Access into interior facility areas is controlled- visitors cannot access interior spaces without interacting with a reception person
  • ID policies enforced- all personnel in the facility other than students are badged so that other staff members can identify them as having been cleared to be in the facility
  • Signage posted about “no weapons” policy for the facility
  • Security personnel stationed or patrolling in the area regularly
  • “See something-say something” is enforced- if personnel see something unusual they are trained to report it immediately


  • Law enforcement or security personnel engage in community policing to develop partnership with students and campus staff
  • Access strictly controlled and visitor policies enforced
  • Teachers and administrators trained on verbal de-escalation
  • Staff and students are trained in recognizing signs of potential violence
  • Staff and students are trained in how to shelter in place or evacuate during a shooting (Note: “Fight” component of Run/Hide/Fight might not be appropriate)
  • Staff have a plan for students in the event of a threat
  • Staff and students have “safe haven” areas identified that they can secure against a threat
  • “See something-say something” is enforced- staff and students are trained to immediately report any potential issues
  • Staff conducts regular drills, table top exercises and “what if” scenarios with local law enforcement, fire, EMS, etc.


  • Anonymous text or phone tip solutions adopted to encourage students, parents and staff to report concerning behavior


  • Access strictly controlled into administrative areas, except in public-facing roles (reception, attendance, finance)
  • Security/law enforcement is made aware of employee counseling/termination issues
  • Security/law enforcement is aware of any potential parent issues (custody disputes, restraining orders, etc.)
  • Security/law enforcement is made aware of student issues (threats, bullying, sexting, alcohol/substance abuse issues, gang affiliation, mental health challenges, etc.)
  • Controlled space is used for sensitive conversations with security/law enforcement if possible
  • Potentially sensitive issues are discussed in private areas with video monitoring/panic alarms available
  • Administrative/management personnel are trained and drilled in how to evacuate, shelter in place or defend during an active shooter incident
  • Personnel are trained and drilled in hasty exit/exterior assembly procedures
  • Aggressive complaints/calls/communications are immediately reported
  • Facility has an emergency management plan in place
  • Security review/assessments are conducted regularly
  • Student-parent reunification policies developed

Please contact Visual Plan to get help on physical security planning, documentation, virtual security assessments and our innovative technology and team to help you secure your schools today.

Kind regards,

Kelly Watt | President  

Mobile (604) 290-3801

Office  (407) 845-9010|