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Bulletproof Safety Glass for Schools: the Facts.

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School Safety is Under Attack

The world is a dangerous place. All it takes is one glance at the news to recognize that there is the potential for danger in even the most unexpected places. Historically, schools have been considered a safe place for students, teachers, and other educational professionals. However, a startling and troubling trend has been on the rise in the United States: gun violence in schools. The number of school shooting incidents have risen over the years. Based on statistics reported by the Center for Homeland Defense and Security, there were 45 school shootings in 2017, which increased to 110 in 2018. As of September 16, 2019, there have been 57 school shooting incidents.1  It should be clear, based on those numbers, that this trend is an ever-growing and ongoing issue, not likely to go away on its own. While governmental entities debate whether to take action on gun reform, several smaller solutions are being implemented on a district-by-district basis.

Possible Solutions to Make Schools Safer

School districts and governments are constantly faced with the task of instituting changes that will help curb gun violence and keep students and employees alike safe. One solution found across the country is the installation of metal detectors at school entrances.2  Schools began installing metal detectors en masse after the tragic events of Columbine in 1999. However, as the statistics demonstrate, this change was not enough to deter shooters. The number of shootings in the United States continue to rise year after year.

Along with metal detectors, many schools now have a system to buzz approved visitors into the building and keep unapproved persons out. Most, if not all schools, have also implemented new policies and procedures2 regarding active shooter and suspected shooter events. These changes include more stringent lock-down procedures and the addition of active shooter drills throughout the school year.3 Some schools are even changing their architectural design in the face of school shootings. Features of these new buildings include curved walls and more spots in which to take cover if a shooting were to take place.4 The idea behind these design changes is that would-be shooters will be discouraged by these deterrents before they set a plan into motion. Architects are shifting towards automatically considering school safety in the design process, rather than as an afterthought.5

Along with the idea of changes to the design, one big step towards safety that many schools are taking is the installation of bulletproof glass in windows and doors.6 This prevents any would-be attacker from breaking glass in windows or doors to circumvent locked doors and gain entry into an otherwise secure building. Forced entry protection is paramount in any school protection plan.

More Daylight AND Safer Schools

Suntuitive SchoolDefender, especially developed as bulletproof safety glass for schools, glass provides a plethora of benefits beyond what conventional options are able to provide. In addition to being bulletproof7 and providing forced entry protection, SchoolDefender also boasts all the benefits of dynamic glass. The dynamic, self-tinting properties reduce the need for blinds or window coverings, which provides a clear line of sight. These design features allow for increased security without sacrificing design flexibility.8

With its dynamic glass properties Suntuitive SchoolDefender also mitigates distracting glare and increases focus for building occupants9, which is especially important in a school setting. Dynamic glass also helps regulate internal temperature which promotes decreased HVAC use10 – as budgets continue to shrink, any money saving measures are appreciated.

Why Safer Schools Matter

Children are our future. In order to secure their safety and promote functional growth in those children, they must be kept safe. Being constantly afflicted by fear and anxiety has been shown to affect memory and impede the learning process. By instituting changes to school safety policy and design, the students will focus less on the possibility of danger around them and more on their education. Ensuring students’ safety is an important step in safeguarding their educational journey.

As discussed, changing what is considered normal – current policies, architecture, etc. – will be integral in order to protect schools and occupants. The choice of glass itself is important, as it is an integral part of lighting systems. Conventional glass comes with issues such as a reliance on shading devices and artificial lighting, annoying glare, and building occupants lacking exposure to natural light. SchoolDefender uses Suntuitive Dynamic Glass technology to mitigate these issues and promote a healthier, more natural environment.

 

Sources

  1. https://www.chds.us/ssdb/category/shooting-incidents-2010-present/
  2. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/amberjamieson/america-schools-students-defense-guns-shooters-parkland
  3. https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/systems-level-prevention/best-practice-considerations-for-schools-in-active-shooter-and-other-armed-assailant-drills
  4. https://www.curbed.com/2019/9/6/20853191/mass-shooting-school-gun-control-architecture
  5. https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/school-shooting-prevention-design
  6. https://slate.com/business/2019/08/school-shootings-design-architecture-sandy-hook-columbine.html
  7. https://suntuitiveglass.com/bulletproof-safety-glass-for-schools/
  8. https://suntuitiveglass.com/design-freedom/
  9. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED440529
  10. https://suntuitiveglass.com/energy-saving-dynamic-glass

Further Reading