CENTENNIAL, Colo. (KDVR) – Schools of the future could resemble fortresses.
The fortified structures would have a huge playground in the center. That open area would be surrounded by four walls. The school would be on one side. Businesses would line other portions.
Some of those business owners would be licensed to carry and, theoretically, could respond to a school shooting in 30 seconds.
“If a red light went off inside the school or inside my business I would go through a secure passageway and I could be in that school in 30 seconds,” Able Shepherd Readiness Training Founder and CEO Jimmy Graham.
Graham is a former Navy Seal and operates the Readiness Training Center. Able Shepherd specializes in teaching protective tactics.
Graham said schools continue to make security mistakes by putting kids at risk with security flaws.
“I was at STEM (School Highlands Ranch) the other day. Drove by because I was in the neighborhood. Kids were playing outside in the parking lot. They are absolutely vulnerable. So we need to figure this out on how we build schools,” Graham said.
A shooting took place at STEM in 2019 where one student was killed and eight others were injured.
Graham’s vision is still far off from becoming a reality and the cost is not clear.
Security experts told us there are several things districts can do now to make schools safer now.
The first step is limiting access to the building.
“Even if you were to go through and revamp all of the schools and all of the churches, if you have a door that’s open in the back of the building you have circumvented the safety protocols,” Metro Intelligence Agency Lead Investigator James Allbee said.
Allbee said having a school resource officer, checking everyone that enters, and requiring access cards to enter buildings are all tactics that could help tremendously.
Building schools exactly alike would also help when it comes to law enforcement protecting them.
“So they could train at one school and go to another school that’s exactly the same and there is no learning curve,” Allbee added.
Able Shepherd said that during a mass shooting everyone in the building should have a designated role.
One person might be armed. Another might be in charge of hiding kids if necessary.
Allbee with metro intelligence said another thing schools could have is one way in, one way out entrances.