How Should Schools Be Designed for Security?

Every generation and culture faces different threats and issues. Security, however, follows basic guidelines, whether for schools or businesses.

In the US, school shootings are a major problem, although still relatively rare. In Japan, schools are generally safe from visitor issues, and teachers also undergo “subdue suspicious person” training. Bullying, however, is a problem for both cultures.

How can school architecture and design be used to solve these problems? The Newtown School offers some ideas.

1. Compartmentalization
Students and visitors should be separated. In cases of disaster, schools should be able to cut off access to specific areas.

2. Visibility
Teachers should be able to view school activities when possible.

Japanese schools are, by nature of disaster design and limited space, relatively well designed according to these guidelines. In Japan, though, students are most vulnerable whole traveling to and from school. Car accidents are common, but kidnappings and murders have been known to happen as well. The US bus transportation model is one possible solution.

In any case, training and preparation are as important as design. Teachers and students, as well as the community, should work to keep schools and students safe.

Source: Can Newtown Design A Safer Sandy Hook School That Doesn't Feel Like A Fortress? | Co.Design | business + design.