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School Safety Expert Says School Safety Needs to Come First
Date:8/21/2013

Ashland, Ohio (PRWEB) August 21, 2013

A national school safety expert says that schools opening this fall need to remember to put safety first during this school year.

Dr. Amy Klinger, assistant professor of educational administration at Ashland University, says the Newtown school shootings need to continue to be a lesson to schools nationwide. Klinger works with school districts throughout the country and the province of Ontario to prepare them for threats and disasters.

"Schools have a lot of things pulling at them. They have limited resources, they have limited time, they have test scores, and they have all these different accountability measures,” Klinger said. “But safety issues have to rise to the top."

Over the past year, Dr. Klinger put a number of schools’ security measures to the test and most of the schools did not do well.

“We do intruder assessments throughout the nation as part of the vulnerability assessments that we do for school districts,” she said. “In the vast majority of the schools we assessed, our professional intruder was easily able to access the building without interference.”

Klinger said only one or two schools had people who engaged with the “stranger” and denied them access to the school.

“The vast majority of staff members ignored or didn’t notice that a stranger was present in the hallways and classrooms,” she said. “This illustrates that there is still much to be done in the way of school safety.”

Klinger said a fact that was even scarier was that the average time it took “for someone to finally ask” the stranger decoy what she was during in the school was nearly 15 minutes.

“The intruder assessments completed were part of a larger vulnerability assessment of the school district. Districts contract with us to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the risks and vulnerabilities of their schools. A vulnerability assessment loo
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