Lockdown plan for UK schools?

July 20, 2017 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , UK

By

Hazel Speed

 

There is a paradox in that whilst schools are said to be ‘well advised’ to practice lockdown procedures, what if any instigator of violence is someone well aware of the same, or a relative, friend or person overhearing a conversation becomes the initiator of an emergency situation?

That leaves the options very limited. It would mean considering alternative ‘panic room’ facilities or otherwise.

This also pre-supposes that the attacker is sighted and/or known. Are any students non-attenders or may perhaps have left the school? Students should therefore be able to self assert (perhaps by calling/whispering out their running sequence numerically as in the military, i.e.1, 2, 3, etc.) as quickly and calmly as possibly. Obviously, the list should be memorised by teachers and students alike.

Did the missing student go to the toilet, can anyone rush to get them? Students should also be told what to do if they realise they are at risk and are trapped in such areas. Again, if a little cupboard is available, camouflaged by something like a small fire extinguisher attached to the front outside, such a secret would only be safe if the attacker had no knowledge of its existence. Inside, there could be a silent visual form of communication to raise alarm. Other relevant aspects should be within the cupboard if space allows. Air vents could be facilitated.

When trying to hide a whole school in lockdown, camouflage is the more secure method – false wall, secret basement tunnel leading outside the wider school area, accessed via specific points. Then roof areas are useful in defence and helicopter to facilitate emergency military and evacuation of students. Flares can also be housed and hoses to flush away any invader, large netting, etc.

This all sounds a little 007 meets St Trinians, granted, but hiding behind a locked classroom door, and/or playing dead whilst lying behind any real dead (God forbid), will not work anymore.

For the brave, entrapment is another option, if an attacker is any given area where a fast metal door can be button released in seconds, like some bank screens behind public counters when cashiers press an alarm as they are being robbed.

Any audio announcements (pre-recorded) could be sent outside the school to pre-determined locations near the school and direct links to Police. It may just generate panic if broadcast audibly outside the school.

Suggestions should also be considered regarding local residents and neighbourhood watch, even in the event of spotting suspicious activity around the school and a hotline from the police to school and/or teacher’s mobile phone text, etc.

There are many other options and although these ways of prevention to thwart attack may seem extreme, should an intruder invade a school with a weapon, then learning and providing as many protective options as possible could indeed save a life or many lives.

Businesses and homes should plan for as many challenging possibilities in their minds also without instilling fear. It should be looked on akin to fastening a safety belt when taking a car journey, i.e. most people are never in a car collision, but with the protection of a safety belt and inflatable protective balloon cushions emerging from a dashboard upon any impact, then there is less chance of injury or death.

It is appreciated the subject matter sounds dramatic and alarming, but such are the times in which we live.

Families should speak through scenarios around their daily living, making it more like a lighthearted game for the benefit of family members, and emphasise how these matters should be kept secret.

The chances are you will never need them.

In case of doubt, in a situation, always have a key word or phrase between you in case of being separated, so if a stranger says ‘your Mother, Father, Brother or Sister wanted them to fetch you’ they will add a key phrase. If it is not present do not tell the person, but try and look for help and do not trust them if you do not think they are telling the truth.

See how dangerous these things are, which is why everyone should be prepared. It could save your life one day.

 

 

 

Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: www.thepinkprofessor.com. She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

Art sites: www.candystoreart.comwww.terrificart.comwww.artbadges.co.uk

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