Single entry points in schools not as effective as they sound

January 28, 2020 — by Allen Luo

Having only one point of entry for schools is not worth the costs.

With school shootings becoming more common throughout the nation, many schools are opting to increase security by forcing students, staff and visitors to enter through one point. This allows the school to check everyone’s belongings, sometimes even with metal detectors.

Although at first glance this may seem like an effective plan, the cons of such a system ultimately outweigh the potential benefits. A single entrance may help a school catch potential shooters before they can enter the school; however, it also leaves students and staff with little to no escape routes in the case that someone does get in. 

This also applies to events such as fires or other such occurrences. If a fire blocks that one entry way, then again, it leaves the students and staff with few options to get away. In these scenarios, the scramble to escape the premises would injure a lot more people than if the school had multiple entry points.

Another downside: Having only a single entry point for all students can cause massive crowds when school starts or ends. With hundreds or thousands of students trying to get home as fast as possible, the end result will inevitably be a mob of people pushing to get out. 

Having a single entry point has also shown to be ineffective in a recent school shooting. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida already had only one point of entry before the shooting, but it seems that the shooter had exploited the system to get in.

Rather than spending school funding on a system that would be ineffective and costly, schools should focus more on ways to prepare students in the case of  school shooter. Having more drills for students to familiarize themselves with certain procedures and protocols that need to be taken during a situation like that would greatly help to decrease student mortality rates in the event of a shooter. 

The costs of implementing and maintaining only one point of entry for schools are just not worth the benefits, and should not be considered a viable strategy to protect students. Above all, though, students shouldn’t have to feel like they are in prison when they are at school.

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