HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Why not require emergency...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:21 PM

 

Why not require emergency windows in schools? School buses have them!

Here's a picture of the Sandy Hook school - a pretty typical elementary school, only one floor. All those kids were at ground level.



School buses are required to have openable emergency windows. Why can't we have the same thing in school classrooms?



I think one of the worst things about school shootings is that once the perpetrator is inside a classroom, the children in there have no where to hide or to run. If only those kids could have exited directly from their classrooms to the outdoors and then scatter. Give them a chance to escape and there's no way the shooter could have killed all those people.

Un-openable windows of course are everywhere now, thanks to the reign of Air Conditioning. But many schools, just like Sandy Hook, are almost perfectly suited for emergency windows. Hallways run through the interior of the building, but most classrooms are on the exterior, with a lot of windows. Why not require that they be openable, or perhaps rather, require one or two to be openable and large enough for people to easily exit from. Or maybe even doors, glass or otherwise, to the outside?

Might be better for speedy evacuation during fires as well, rather than the whole rigamarole of lining up classes and marching them down long hallways.

36 replies, 1819 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why not require emergency windows in schools? School buses have them! (Original post)
downandoutnow Dec 2012 OP
quinnox Dec 2012 #1
mainstreetonce Dec 2012 #2
peacebird Dec 2012 #26
downandoutnow Dec 2012 #3
Politicalboi Dec 2012 #4
lindysalsagal Dec 2012 #5
downandoutnow Dec 2012 #7
boston bean Dec 2012 #30
lindysalsagal Dec 2012 #36
libdem4life Dec 2012 #6
downandoutnow Dec 2012 #8
libdem4life Dec 2012 #10
FSogol Dec 2012 #13
libdem4life Dec 2012 #18
ChazII Dec 2012 #9
libdem4life Dec 2012 #12
undeterred Dec 2012 #19
libdem4life Dec 2012 #22
undeterred Dec 2012 #23
libdem4life Dec 2012 #24
ChazII Dec 2012 #25
libdem4life Dec 2012 #32
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #11
downandoutnow Dec 2012 #15
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #14
downandoutnow Dec 2012 #17
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #21
Agschmid Dec 2012 #16
libdem4life Dec 2012 #20
graham4anything Dec 2012 #27
bowens43 Dec 2012 #28
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #29
Zoeisright Dec 2012 #35
Jamastiene Dec 2012 #31
aroach Dec 2012 #33
Zoeisright Dec 2012 #34

Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:24 PM

1. sounds like a good idea-er to me

 

I hate to think those school classrooms are like inescapable death traps in a way, with no way out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to quinnox (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:27 PM

2. Good idea or doors

Some school windows don't open more than a tiny bit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mainstreetonce (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:04 PM

26. Emergency exit doors are a great idea

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to quinnox (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:28 PM

3. Thanks. And yes, that's what got to me too -

 

These kids were so close to freedom, but couldn't get there. The guy had time to stand around and shoot multiple children multiple times in those classrooms. The horror is unthinkable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:30 PM

4. Better idea than arming the teachers

While they're at it, they may as well replace all the windows with bulletproof glass or reflective glass too. Or have a underground panic room with tunnels that lead to safety in new schools being built.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:37 PM

5. Schoolteacher here. We do have openable windows. But that's not what traps a child.

The shooter will hit anyone who moves. Plus, during an emergency, we are trained to lock down: Secure the room and the kids we have and hold tight. Running up and down the halls is THE LAST thing you want kids doing. Your post assumes a child or teacher knows what's going on and can make an informed decision mid-attack. That makes no sense at all.

So, this is another example of how people all attend schools, they just have no good way to determine how they need to be run.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:11 PM

7. But I don't think "lock down" is the best option when it comes to a school shooter -

 

Now I didn't say that the kids should run "up and down the halls" - but when that custodian started running the halls, shouting "shooter coming" if those classrooms had windows that people could get out of, the kids and teachers should have just run directly outside.

By the way, I took no offense, but I taught 6 years NYC public high schools! (My idea would be useless for most high schools of course as many are not single-story. )

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:23 PM

30. and all schools aren't just 1 story.

At the high school in town, there are no windows, except at the entrance and the front office. I assume that will change.

But the school has a/c for the warmer months...

No windows at all in any classroom on any floor.

All doors are locked while students are in class, automatically.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to boston bean (Reply #30)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:25 PM

36. Hello. ALL schools have a first story.

Unless you count tree-houses.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 07:05 PM

6. A kid can't open those windows...that's for extraction in case of an accident. What we're talking

about here is remodeling and modeling the suburban and rural schools after those in the inner city. Not going to happen.

And as far as exiting a class full of 1st graders during a mass shooting, there wasn't time for an organized fire drill and duck and cover wouldn't have helped. I am just grateful they had locked closets and bathrooms to huddle in. From my days, it was just one, big open room with a little sink at the back for art projects. And our windows opened out, (before the days of air conditioning) but can't see how they could have climbed out. And it was fire regulations to have two door exits. No one knew how many shooters, where they were coming from, and a bunch of terrorized kids while being sent out over the intercom.

And had they been in multiple floors, the hallways and stairs would have been death traps.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libdem4life (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:16 PM

8. As to your last point - almost ALL of these mass shootings are done by just ONE shooter --

 

Which stands to reason, as it's pretty rare that you will get MORE than one person who is just that crazy/angry/destructive at any one time.

The Columbine incident of course is the exception that comes to mind, but generally, as in the Watertown case, it's one isolated loner who does these things.

And again, the whole point about emergency windows would be so that the kids could IMMEDIATELY exit the school from their classrooms - completely avoiding the "hallways and stairs."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:35 PM

10. When you have little ones around you and all hell breaks loose, you don't think about history.

And breaking windows, little kids and upper stories, even on the ground floor aren't compatible. I'm also pretty sure that it's still fire code for every room to have two exits.

But one thing I know, there are tons of meetings going on in school districts and living rooms around the nation. Decades of students, teachers and administrators have held fire drills, duck and cover drills and few ever were needed. Now, we have to add domestic terrorism. But it's definitely time to quickly get up to speed on the best way to keep our schools safe...up to and including armed security personnel.

We don't have time to wait until the mental health system is upgraded to include, let alone identify, all who are on the psychological edge and happen to have access to or steal a weapon, or blame the media for over-publicizing the event, to do the tremendous task of gun (fill in the blank with the best word).

Millions of parents send their kids every day to school and now we are all painfully aware there are 300,000,000 give or take guns out there, yet trust they will be safe. A big hole has been created in that sense of security and it needs fixing...now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libdem4life (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:45 PM

13. Fire code

Having 2 exits depends on the expected occupancy of the room. Cafeteria, gyms, auditoriums, need at least 2 exits. Ooffices and small classrooms only need 1.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FSogol (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:54 PM

18. I did not know that. Our schools had big classrooms for the days when we had up to 32 primary kids

per class. All had 2 doors...restrooms were external and the only other places were the office and the teacher' lounge. The small, special classes and overflow classes were in portables...which also had to have 2 doors. Now, sadly, the story makes more sense to me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:24 PM

9. I like your idea.

The 31 years that I taught there were no windows in my classroom.

As new schools are built I would hope that plans are made for a situation like Newtown.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ChazII (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:45 PM

12. No windows? Where did you teach?

I've racked my brain and can't figure out how one would build a school to protect against a crazy person intent on mass murder. Once they breach the door, the choices are limited. I think the presence of mind of turning on the intercom helped, and probably saved a lot of lives. Supposedly the school had state-of-the-art security, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libdem4life (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:58 PM

19. Unless you have a built in "safe room" in every class room.

Bullet proof rooms that everyone can be herded into on short notice within every room in the building. They would have to be put in during the building of the school and would be costly.

My understanding is that some children at Sandy Hook were shot through closet doors.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to undeterred (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 09:15 PM

22. And then you'd have kids at "safe" schools and kids at "old" schools.

and which school would parents choose?

I just don't get why there seems to be so much resistence to security personnel on the school grounds...out in the open and obvious.

If your house is broken into, you go buy a security alarm system and don't much care how much it costs. You don't wait until you can beef up the local police force or the mental health agency, although that might happen as well. But you don't have control over that, and it doesn't stop any or all criminals, but at least you've done what you can and rest better at nights.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libdem4life (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 09:29 PM

23. I think its the expense and the atmosphere it creates.

Not so bad in a high school, because teens are tough. But geez, in an elementary school? Who would have thought something like this would happen?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to undeterred (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 09:50 PM

24. That's true, but it's a bit deeper, I think. This is true domestic terrorism. A meme that

has not been firmly planted in the reality and experience of the average, suburban everyday American psyche. Even in the inner cities/schools, they are called gangsters...a pack of criminals with rules and creeds and "colors", not lone domestic terrorists.

And the high schools, AKA Columbine? For the first time, I read the entire story of Susan Klebold...Mom of Columbine shooter. Heartbreaking. The security guards now are placed in high schools to frisk and control the student body...not mass murderers...i.e. domestic terrorists.

Elementary schools...yes, take it to an entirely new level.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libdem4life (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:02 PM

25. I taught in

the Paradise Valley Unified School District. (by the way if anyone Google this it is NOT located in the town of Paradise Valley) Most schools built in the valley since the late 70's and early 80's do not have windows to cut down on cooling costs.

I agree with you that once someone does indeed get to into the building choices are limited. There are the fire doors but I would think someone could gun those down.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ChazII (Reply #25)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:04 PM

32. Phoenix, right? I think that's where my nieces and nephews attended school,

But one thing I know, for teachers and parents and staff everywhere, they will figure out how to at least keep the kids safer...more rules, more meetings, more careful eyes, and hopefully some security guards.

Teachers have way too much to do and too little pay to boot, now striking for raises is added to the list.

But putting guns in their hands...trained or not...puts them in heavy legal liability territory. The pool of qualified teachers would quickly decrease, thus diluting the professional base. Even now, unqualified teachers often have to take classes in certain areas for lack of qualified candidates.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:39 PM

11. It seems like making the room harder to enter

 

would be a better idea. Kids would have very little time to escape once a gunman entered the room but a secure door that could handle a solid kick or bullet would give them time to hide or escape.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:49 PM

15. I think that doesn't conflict with my escape windows idea -- it complements it.

 

"...a secure door that could handle a solid kick or bullet would give them time to hide or escape." Yes it would, but they need somewhere to be able to escape to. There's nowhere to "hide" in a classroom. But for single-story schools where classrooms have windows (which I think is pretty standard for elementary schools) a more secure door would give the kids time to get outside through the windows and scatter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:47 PM

14. The windows didn't open? nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:53 PM

17. I'm pretty sure they didn't. Look at the picture of the school above -

 

Those kinds of windows, at best, will open just a couple of inches to allow for occasional air circulation. At best.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 09:08 PM

21. I can't tell much from that picture. But a couple of those windows look open to me. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:51 PM

16. Here is one concern...

You never know if there is a second shooter. The training I have always received has been lock-up-hide. If you were to exit out of the building through the windows and say there was a second shooter outside just waiting for you... it would have not done whole lot of good.

In situations like these I think any "rules" we live life by go right out of the window.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Agschmid (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 09:00 PM

20. This would have been my reaction, as well. We'd probably have had to do duck and cover because

the kids knew how to do it and besides, which way do you go? The room was completely open. The inside hallway doors we always used had little square windows so someone could see in, and the outside/external doors opened onto grass and we usually kept it locked so the little ones didn't wander away.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:07 PM

27. Why not just get rid of all guns in the street. Other things could happen regarding windows

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:10 PM

28. why not ban guns and ammunition?

the windows are not the problem, the guns are

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bowens43 (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:20 PM

29. Because they serve a very useful purpose

 

When used legally and properly. Like any tool they can be misused.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:37 PM

35. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHH!!!

The purpose of guns is to maim and kill. Anyone who thinks otherwise is incredibly stupid.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:24 PM

31. Safe/Panic rooms would be another good idea.

Another idea I heard was bulletproof vests and bulletproof helmets as school uniforms at least until we can find some solution to stop all the violence. I like the panic room idea and/or bulletproof glass that is safety glass like you mentioned.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:21 PM

33. Good idea

I told my son not to hesitate to throw a chair through the window and run.

He told me yesterday that he was scared at school because he heard the kindergartners screaming and that he was trying to figure out where to hide in his classroom and there was nowhere.

Of course I also told him that millions of kids go to school every day and don't get shot and that his chances were probably better of being struck down by lightning on a clear day but I'm not sure how much that helped.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to downandoutnow (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:36 PM

34. Why not just ban all the fucking guns?

Any other "solution" is simply a band-aid to the real problem. Too many fucking guns and too many fucking idiots who worship them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread