How An Access Breach Resulted In Texas School Shooting

After a gunman was able to gain access to Robb Elementary School, he opened fire and killed 19 children and two teachers.

Facility Executive Staff
Access Control
Photo: Robb Elementary

The 21 people killed in an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, TX on Tuesday, May 24 made it the second deadliest mass shooting in an elementary school since Sandy Hook back in 2012.

Schools across the U.S. have responded by reevaluating and bolstering their own security measures. As examples, Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, and Washington, DC schools have announced an increase in security and requested for law enforcement to be present during school hours.

As part of evaluating their security measures, Texas officials are investigating how the gunman was able to gain access to the classrooms in Uvalde. CNN reported that the gunman was able to get access through the south door of the school. He was able to enter several different classrooms as the shooting began, before officers could enter the scene and put an end to the attack.

“It appears as though there was a failure of access control,” Paul Timm, vice president of Facility Engineering Associates told ABC 7 Chicago.

According to “Strategies for School Safety” in the August 2018 issue of Facility Executive, one of the first steps when reviewing your safety measures is to take account of all points of entry in a facility—and who has access to them. A secured entrance at the front of the school, where guests need to be identified before they gain entry, may become a reality for more schools as they look for ways to ensure students and staff are safe.

The Robb Elementary School shooting is a grim reminder that an educational facility’s security measures need to constantly evolve. Whether by collaborating more closely with local law enforcement to ensure schools are protected while classes are in session, incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can identify and alert staff that an intruder has entered the premises, or installing bullet proof doors and other access control solutions, U.S. schools have to be prepared for anything.

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