Changes in school building design helps keep students safe

(Image Source: National Education Assoc. / MGN)

School buildings themselves are now structured very different than a decade ago in the name of safety. Architects now design schools to have only one main point of entry into school buildings. Jim Sarks is an Architect with The Collaborative which is a local firm that works with many school districts in the area. "It's all about controlling access to the building. We want a single point of entry. Most of the exterior doors are exit only doors, so you cannot enter the building except at the designated entry," says Sarks.

At Old Orchard School in Toledo, Principal Valerie Dreier says when a school shooting happens, it reverberates through all school hallways. "I think it brings a whole new level of awareness," says Dreier. "All our doors are secure, they have to show ID when they pick up a student, there is a holding area in the front entrance where visitors are buzzed in by office staff."

All the classroom doors are shut and locked when students are in class. There are also phones in every classroom where teachers have to ability to broadcast an emergency at any time. And there is an emergency line set up that alerts Toledo Police directly if there is an active shooter in the building.