List: 11 solutions to thwart school shootings

George Washington University legal advocate John Banzhaf has long led fights for public health, including on smokingobesity, and discrimination.

But few knew he also has expertise in security, as a former security officer and consultant, career highlights he tapped today to call for major changes in school security to thwart shootings such as the one that killed three at the University of Virginia Sunday night.

While an advocate for arming some teachers, Banzhaf said he realizes that is a sensitive topic in some cities, so he has prepared a list of 11 solutions that are quick to deploy to stop the next shooter from harming students in classrooms.

“Most schools — including many which, like the one in Uvalde (Texas), had been ‘hardened’ — are ill-prepared for an armed intruder, lacking even such basic precautions as classrooms which can be locked from the inside, simple magnetic door-open sensors linked to a WiFi system of the type used in millions of homes,” he said in an email.

Banzhaf passed along his new security list of easy fixes that he published last month in University World News. “Those in charge of educational institutions, as well as those who teach there, should carefully consider taking some simple, proven, and inexpensive steps to substantially improve safety and reduce the chance that they and-or their students will be injured — or possibly even killed — by an active shooter on campus,” he wrote.

The Banzhaf Security List:

  1. Install classroom doors that can be locked from the inside.
  2. Mark each room with an easy-to-find identification and make up-to-date floor plans easily available for first responders.
  3. Provide all administrators and campus police officers with master keys.
  4. Get police door-opening tools such as the Halligan carried by firefighters.
  5. Install magnetic door-open sensors so administrators can see which doors are open or properly closed in schools.
  6. Make it easy to text via cellphone in an emergency.
  7. Distribute kits to help quickly stop the type of bleeding left by standard AR-15 rounds.
  8. On school apps, make sure it’s easy to find ways to contact police and officials in an active shooting case.
  9. Install one-way peepholes in office and other doors.
  10. Make a limited availability of guns and post signs stating, “Warning, some professors are armed.”
  11. Supply nonlethal weapons, such as bear spray or poles.

“To limit the carnage caused by active shooters, as well as the massive resulting potential legal liability, colleges, and universities, both in the U.S. and abroad, should consider taking a number of simple and inexpensive (and therefore reasonable) steps to reduce the risk, and the harm which is expected to be caused this year by active shooters,” said Banzhaf.