Design concepts to maximize safety and security in our schools


I would like to initiate a discussion about how architects and planners could potentially design a school to maximize security and safety of students.

My initial idea was to group programs together that has similar level of risks so that the school could provide some type of monitoring systems.

Mar 19, 18 10:53 am
Non Sequitur

See here:

There is nothing wrong with schools as they are today regarding security.  Don't compromise education and turn schools into Orwellian prison camps because you're not willing to address the real problem.  Hint, it's not a problem that can be solved by design.

Mar 19, 18 11:01 am

Totally agree.




Mar 19, 18 11:08 am

That solves the budget issues too.




As with terrorist attack prevention in city centers (for instance concrete blocks or glass walls around monuments or plazas) the problem just moves elsewhere - onto the other streets, shopping malls or outside the security parameter. 

The money is better spend elsewhere. I think calculations show that we could save 10 times more lives by investing in traffic safety measures, health care or measures against pollution. Not to speak of the lost freedom of the PUBLIC spaces.

It is quite interesting how the American dream of liberty and freedom amounts to gated communities and prison-like schools, malls, public buildings etc... 

Mar 19, 18 11:11 am

A few things to consider: 

Lockable doors, lockable from inside the class room, for all classrooms. 

Ground floor classrooms should have emergency exits directly to the outside.

Have the classroom numbers visible on the exterior widows of the building so responding police know which windows are potentially a source of gunfire. 

Relocate police stations to be adjacent to or embedded within major schools.

eliminate long straight uninterrupted corridors (shot gun corridors) 

In addition to fire alarms add active shooter pull boxes and alarms that are distinct from the fire or tornado alarms.


Don't let teenagers own or buy guns and ammo.

Have a tax on high caliber ammunition as much a 400% to pay for the school upgrades.

Ban assault style weapons and magazines with more than 10 rounds.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Mar 19, 18 12:26 pm

That's all?

no, but any of these things could help, it is a sad state of affairs that we as a nation are value-engineering the safety of our children, banning assault rifles and a national registration for gun ownership is politically impossible with republicans in office so we go on to fortifying schools and reducing the body count and the US will not have the money to do this everywhere so the rich will get their security first.


The Aurora shooter was on psychotropic drugs, as was Adam Lanza in Newtown, CT, as was the Washington, DC, Navy Yard shooter, as was the most recent Florida school shooter, yet no one holds the psych doctors or Big Pharma accountable in the least. Big Pharma tracks which psych doctors prescribe their drugs and rewards the high producers with trips and speaking fees at lush resorts yet nada from the media.

The media rakes in millions from those intolerable minute-long commercials for all kinds of medicines for which the viewer needs a prescription. Are these really informative commercials or bribes to the media in the buying of massive commercial time in order to persuade the media to not to ask questions when an Adam Lanza goes off his meds? If so, it is working.

We are to turn our schools into prisons (let's be honest) because no body will ring the bell of the Psychiatrist/Big Pharma lobby?  

Mar 19, 18 2:59 pm
Non Sequitur

Because the issue is the careless availability of murderous toys and the illusion many americans have that they need them in the first place. Mental health issues cannot be bought in stores nor can they, by themselves, kill. They are also present naturally within society. Guns should not and it is irresponsible to divert the attention away by holding another big-pharma scarecrow. Stop the idiot gun owners from believing they need these and lesser will fall within the hands of those with dangerous intentions. Big pharma did not arm these folks, 2nd amendment right supporters did.


Pills killed the victims? Interesting connection with no facts to show. Please supply a link from the drug to the dead people. One similar to the bullet-to-hole-to-gun-to-finger-to-arm-to-shoulder-to-chest-to-neck-to-head-to-brain one that is factually in evidence.


No facts to show? What part of 'all the shooters I listed were on psych meds' did you fail to grasp?


All the shooters YOU LISTED were on meds. ALL SHOOTERS use guns. See the difference?


they're all scared with this new reality show announcement that drug dealers will face the death penalty


besides, when 75% of the kids are on prescription drugs, how do you weed out the bad ones?

Non Sequitur

I think I read somewhere that all the shooters Volunteer listed also wore socks on the day of the shooting. WHYISNOONEASKINGTOBANSOCKS?


How many did the Islamic fruitcake take-out in Nice with a truck?


Overprescription of drugs and the quid pro quo relationship of drugs in medicine is a serious issue . I take issue with the suggestion that it's responsible for the epidemic of gun death in the US, though. I would be interested in a CDC study that looks into the link. OH WAIT we can't do that because of the gun lobby.

Non Sequitur

far less than the 2nd amendment abiding fruit-cake in vegas. Your point?


Volunteer, we're talking about shooters in this specific little sub-thread. Keep moving the goal lines and you expose how little faith you have in your initial argument.

Non Sequitur

Pete, I like how I refuted his truck argument with socks even before he made it. Am I some sort of psychic wizard? Probably.


​I am no fan of the AR-15. I think the mentality of an adult owning one and playing SWAT-team Rambo at the range and the mentality of zit-faced teenagers playing video games that splat victims into gore is exactly the same. There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed at the same time. I think turning schools into fortresses with visibly-armed guards is counter-productive.


"There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed at the same time. I think turning schools into fortresses with visibly-armed guards is counter-productive."

On this we agree.

@ Peter Normand: Idiocy. When shooters move to school buses we'll make kids ride in APCs and require airport screening to enter. Do you like where this is headed? It's not a slippery slope, it's free fall. 

Nothing you propose is a fix in any way shape or form - they're just expensive, demeaning, unproductive bandaids that don't address the problem. Western medicine at it's finest.

Mar 19, 18 3:07 pm
Non Sequitur

then they will move to the screening line. Put the schools and house all underground, set up land mines at each entrance and autonomous drones.


My favorite is the lockable doors from the inside. In a school. Yeah, that's a great idea.

Mandatory body armor for everyone! Just think of the commercial possibilities.

Non Sequitur

Miles, we've gone through that route last month. We just need to get NASCAR of Bud Light as sponsor. Money!

Body armor, brought to you by Remington.

The point is to limit casualties, this is something we will have to live with until we change or repeal the 2nd amendment. The repeal of the 2nd amendment will not happen as long as there are republicans in government. making it more difficult for an active shooter to move within a building and to limit lines of sight and firing is one way to reduce the body count, which is the best we can do in this our messed up political system. We have to work within the reality of what is possible politically. It is unfair but the terrorist and criminals have no shame in shifting the goal post.


Terrorists and Criminals also don’t obey gun laws.

@ Normand: Turning schools into prisons won't prevent anything, it will simply exacerbate the problem by further screwing over students' (and everyone's) mental health. Treating people like potential criminals doesn't make them better citizens. Metal detectors, pat-downs, canine patrols, lock-downs, etc., fuck you: you're all potential terrorists. Do you draw the line at body cavity searches? Of course not! Let's mistrust everyone.

Attacks will just move to softer targets, which will then have to be fortified, and so on. What part of cause and effect don't you understand?

jla-x, a socially / mentally deranged person is not a terrorist. You really need to stop misconstruing the discussion. And for the record police (the LAW) use deadly force waaaaaay too often and the person most likely to shoot you is someone in your household.


Agree. I stand corrected...A mentally deranged person is not the same, and likely has easier access to a legal gun than illegal being that these are mostly suburban kids...criminals and terrorists differ.


Police do use force too often...Agree. Hyper vigilant...overexposed to criminal element and under exposed to the vast majority of the community that is not a threat. Community policing needs to change.


“ and the person most likely to shoot you is someone in your household” Idiots can’t be stopped. Guns are used often in self defense as discussed on other thread. There really is no good answer. Will removing a persons right/ability to defend themselves do more harm than good? I’d say yes most definitely. Other than that, I see your side of the argument for not fortifying schools...and am starting to bend on that a little. It likely would have a psychological effect on kids that would do more harm than good. Secure vestibules and such however are not a big deal...most people don’t even notice their utility...


AR-15s are probably not necessary. Dunno. I don’t really have a settled opinion on that...but handguns, shotguns, and rifles should not be banned imo. Not right to punish the majority for a small wacko minority. I guess that logic also applies to the fortified yeah, I see your point on that...


Its simple. Use GPS and map based on cell phone locations. Ala Dark Knight.

Mar 19, 18 4:35 pm

Lets design prisons... they give free GED courses to inmates... 

Mar 19, 18 5:58 pm

Cant let the American kids have Kinder Eggs

Mar 19, 18 6:08 pm

Put guns in eggs to make them legal! Brilliant!




It seems the AIA has taken up the discussion:

Aug 16, 18 1:04 pm
Non Sequitur

or.... how about they spend that money educating kids that gun ownership is not a right and moreover, is a damn dangerous and idiotic religious concept. Idiots. Easy access to guns is the problem, not the design of schools.

Design a functioning and affordable mental health care system. Don’t turn children’s schools into prisons. That will only exacerbate the mental health problem.
Aug 19, 18 1:29 pm

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