Nelson Mandela once said, “Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear”. In this ever-evolving world of technological marvels and interconnected societies, the importance of security transcends the mere concept of physical safety; it becomes a foundation of our collective well-being. At its core, security serves as an establishment for stability and offers protection. In a secure environment, individuals are allowed to flourish as desired, pursue their aspirations, work on their goals, and create without the looming fear of harm. We find security in the comfort of our own home, and it gives us a sense of assurance—it is appropriate for us to require the same sense of safety at our schools and places of work.
It is not right that the halls of education fall victim to the violent crime of active shootings. Sorrow and grief travels through each state and city as we reflect on the loss of multiple innocent lives. School shootings are unimaginable tragedies that shatter the innocence of classrooms where the pursuit of knowledge should be the only occurrence. They not only cause physical damage to individuals involved but also impose emotional scars which linger long after the headline fades away into a new calamity. Sandy Hook Elementary School, a name etched into our memories and history, is a haunting reminder of innocence lost and futures shattered.
On December 14, 2012, the school was attacked, and twenty children lost their lives. Students, survivors of the inconceivable, still carry emotional burdens which serve as a reminder of the evil that pertains this world. On the evening of the Sandy Hook school shooting, Tom Czyz, assuming the positions of a SWAT operator and a homicide detective at the time, discerned a pressing necessity for change. Today, Tom serves as founder and CEO at Armoured One, a company specializing in providing proper security solutions for schools and businesses.
Armoured One was established with the primary objective of providing practical , appropriate, and proactive solutions to the growing active shooter crisis. Armoured One has three major divisions – security assessments, training for educators and staff, and glass hardening products for physical security measures to gain precious time for students and staff to get to safety and for law enforcement to arrive. Each school shooting and attack is thoroughly reviewed as Armoured One conducts detailed evaluations on access points and building components that may have failed to ensure safety, extracting valuable data— their approach remains resolutely data-driven.
In terms of installation, Armoured One presents two formidable products: security film and glass. The 23 Mil. security film undergoes rigorous testing of being shot multiple times and aggressively attacked which makes it specifically tailored for active shooter situations. Applied to standard glass surfaces, this thick film serves as a protective shield which holds the glass together for a longer duration, providing crucial time for the police to arrive on site. Annealed glass, despite breaking into larger shards upon impact, stands resilient particularly when the security film is applied. Armoured One’s firm security film makes it difficult for the attacker to damage the glass initially. Another highly recommended security measure is Armoured One’s glass which is created to fit into any standard frame. Armoured One’s glass is subjected to the same stringent testing and evaluations as the security film. This glass guarantees maximum safety and instills confidence in its performance. Opting for the glass tends to be the better option, due to its inherent strength. Armoured One stands as a beacon of innovation and reliability in pursuit of creating safer educational environments.
The conventional use of glass in most schools is impractical due to its fragility making it the weakest point of entry. In this context, the importance of hardening glass through methods such as replacing standard glass with stronger glass or application of security film cannot be overemphasized. The importance of hardening glass is unfortunately often overlooked. Many schools continue to utilize traditional, non-reinforced glass, inadvertently putting the safety of students at risk. With the present and continuous threat of school shootings, the need for hardening glass remains evident now more than ever.
Research indicates that a student’s well-being is adversely impacted by school shootings. One primary area of concern is the psychological impact on students, as the traumatic events may lead them to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and even paranoia. Additionally, the students can be the victims of cognitive consequences, which can result in damage to the hippocampus—a crucial region of the brain associated with memory formation. While the victims of this brutal crime bear the most visible wounds, the whole school body and community is also profoundly affected. The collective psychological trauma impacts and extends to students, teachers, staff, and even parents which alters their life altogether. That being said, it is crucial to emphasize the need for incorporating advanced and preventative security measures in schools. It is a collective responsibility to provide the proper resources to help strengthen the school community. Knowing that appropriate security measures are in place, especially hardened glass, provides peace of mind to the educators. Visible reinforcement of glass also sends a clear message to the potential attacker that the school has taken proactive measures to enhance security, which can discourage them from targeting the school. Hardened glass resists entry to reduce casualties by preventing and delaying the attacker’s access to vulnerable areas. This is incredibly significant to the protection of children who do not have the means to defend themselves.
Mandela’s words render true and highlight the collective effort and commitment in fostering a secure environment, especially for vulnerable children. The phrase “collective consensus” emphasizes the need for a shared vision among our society, a unity of purpose, and a commitment to invest in the best security measures. Investment is not merely monetary; it extends to the desires and aspirations towards creating environments that protect children. Children represent the future, and their well-being is an indicator of the societal health and prosperity that lies ahead. By investing in their safety and security, we are not only fulfilling a moral obligation but also laying the foundation for an increasingly just, compassionate, and a stable society.
Beland, Louis-Philippe, and Dongwoo Kim. “The Effect of High School Shootings on Schools and Student Performance.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol. 38, no. 1, 2016, pp. 113–26. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/44984530. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.
Barron, James. “Nation Reels After Gunman Massacres 20 Children at School in Connecticut.” New York Times, 15 Dec. 2012 https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/15/nyregion/shooting-reported-at-connecticut-elementary-school.html