We believe everyone has the right to live in a safe community. Our fundamental American ideals promote that; and yet, more and more, we find ourselves living in an unsafe world. There’s been a breach in our general safety. And the gap is wide. Most disturbing is the reality that our schools- housing our most innocent and vulnerable citizens- are no longer the safe havens they once were. Education Week reported that in 2022, there were 51 total “school shootings”, being any gun-related act of violence where at least 1 person was injured on school grounds while school or a school-related event was in session (Blad, Baker, Kim, Peele, 2023). This figure is more than double the number of school shootings in 2018 and 2019, which each accounted for 24 attacks (Blad, Baker, Kim, Peele, 2023). Moreover, 2022 saw the greatest loss in these attacks: 40 lives lost with another 100 injured (Blad, Baker, Kim, Peele, 2023). Beyond that, “43,000 children were exposed to gunfire in schools” in 2022 (17 Facts About Gun Violence and School Shootings). This is another grief and burden that we often forget. These living victims, too, suffer the memory of these events for a lifetime.
These soberings statistics undeniably reveal the genuine threat of violence posed to our schools, and yet, districts and superintendents shy away from these conversations, finding it too scary to discuss or naively assuming that it won’t happen to their school. Some recognize the threat but feel their security systems are “good enough” or that the price tag associated with more enhanced security measures will be too costly. But ignoring or dismissing the issue will not resolve it; it will only perpetuate it. And more lives will be lost.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said that "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter". What matters more than our children? We must talk about this threat, and not go silent. We must strategize and problem-solve if we desire to see this devastating trend change. Armoured One seeks to do just that, but some assume that we aim to capitalize on these tragedies. This could not be further from the truth. No one would ever assume a doctor doing brain surgery on a car accident victim is trying to capitalize on such a tragedy. They’d be deemed a hero, as they should be. And yet the trauma medical industry is raking in $163 billion a year- money our industry won’t ever see. We desire to save lives in the same way, but our industry is rooted in past tragedy and present fear that no one wants to deal with, that parents and administrators struggle to discuss. But this is why Armoured One exists. Someone has to step up to the plate; someone has to fill this security gap. And instead of being reactive as in the case of a trauma doctor, we aim to be proactive. Our company’s sole desire is to protect the innocent. Any parent recognizes the many preventative measures we take to protect our children- securely fastened car seat buckles, childproof locks on the medicine cabinet, life jackets on while in the water. It’s those protective, preventative measures that matter, that often make the difference between life and death. With over 80% of “active shooter” events occurring during school hours, this is a serious threat ("National Safety and Security Protection Association (NSSPA) 2021 Study"). Armoured One exists to partner with schools and communities to restore confidence in the facilities that house our children for so many days and hours of the school year. This way, we can send our children off in the morning knowing we have done everything in our power to protect our children.
So how do we assist schools and administrators in this effort to prevent such tragedies? We take a close look at past events to determine security breaches, as well as best practices and products. First of all, some of the most deadly school shootings have involved the breaking of a window or doorway in order to access students within. In the unforgettable Columbine attack in 1999, two active shooters shot through entry doors to gain access to the building interior, ultimately leading to the loss of 13 lives and the injury of more than 20 others (Columbine High School Shooting: Victims & Killers, 2022). Then again in 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary attacker entered the well-secured building by shooting at and then climbing through an exterior glass window, claiming the lives of 26 individuals. And most recently, just last month, a shooter gained access to the hallways of Covenant Christian School outside of Nashville, Tennessee, claiming the lives of 3 children and 3 staff/faculty members (Casas, 2023). It only took a matter of seconds. This is why Armoured One seeks to further secure these points of entry with doors, glass, and film that are the most shatter-resistant on the market, delaying an attacker’s entrance of a building which allows time for emergency teams to respond. Armoured One makes no claims of being bulletproof; as there is no such thing. Many products on the market are falsely advertised as such to abate fears and provide false confidence. Instead, we aim to be transparent with our customers, creating the safest and most effective products possible without making unfounded claims.
Furthermore, our assessments and training programs seek to find flaws and potential issues in the building facilities and design protocols in the case of an active shooter event. Armoured One’s services and training has already proven effective by thwarting an attack on a New York high school. Such services can only provide confidence and reassurance to the community, the administration, and the families that the school has taken every preventative measure to protect their young people. From our vantage point, these are the best ways to restore safe communities in an increasingly unsafe world. This is how we fill the security gap.
17 Facts About Gun Violence and School Shootings. Sandy Hook Promise. https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/blog/gun-violence/17-facts-about-gun-violence-and-school-shootings/(Accessed on 2023, March 23)
Blad, E., L. Baker, H. Kim and H. Peele. (2023, January 27). School Shootings in 2022: 4 Key Takeaways. Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/leadership/school-shootings-in-2022-4-key-takeaways/2022/12
Casas, Angelica. Nashville School Shooting: Six Killed by 28-year-old Ex-Student in Tennessee. (2023, March 28). BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-65092102
Columbine High School Shooting: Victims & Killers. (2022, May 25). History. https://www.history.com/topics/1990s/columbine-high-school-shootings
King, Martin Luther Jr. (2003). I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World. HarperOne.
"National Safety and Security Protection Association (NSSPA) 2021 Study".
We believe everyone has the right to live in a safe community. Our fundamental American ideals promote that; and yet, more and more, we find ourselves living in an unsafe world. There’s been a breach in our general safety.
This past fall, Armoured One celebrated its tenth anniversary, and with that came a special visit from Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis - the source and inspiration for Armoured One’s mission. It was December 14, 2012, when first grade teacher, Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, single-handedly saved her entire class of students from a gunman who stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School. CEO and co-founder, Tom Czyz, had the privilege of sitting down with Kaitlin to reflect on her experience and the inspiration behind Armoured One.
The term “security assessment” can often be obscure or misunderstood. But the goal is simple- it is to assess all aspects of the security of a building, premise, or campus. Why is this necessary? Shouldn’t the very people who inhabit the building day after day, year after year- such as administrators, teachers, staff, personnel- know the grounds better than anyone? You’d hope so, but this might not always be the case. If you’ve ever had a home inspection conducted, you know there are some obvious issues that might come up; however, every homeowner is also surprised to find out there are hidden, and sometimes even obvious, flaws in their home they just haven’t noticed or realized.