National school security expert reacts to proposed CCSD school safety measures | #schoolsaftey

As we near the end of the school year, one that ended with multiple local and national social media threats, and a school security guard getting shot, the Clark County School District continues to explore new safety measures in our schools.

While everyone wants a solution, there are different opinions on how the violence should be addressed.

CCSD leaders and police say they are looking at the possibility of metal detectors and clear backpacks.

One national school safety expert is not sold on those options.

“We’re facing too many unknown threats today, things you can’t predict,” said Dr. Ken Trump.

He is a 30-year school safety expert and president of the National School Safety and Security Services.

Trump has provided testimony in front of U.S. Congressional leaders, and does expert witness work on civil litigation cases like the Sandy Hook and San Bernardino school shootings.

“Across the nation, we’re seeing an uptick in violent aggressive behavior, increase in weapons possessions in use, and overall high anxiety,” said Trump.

Just last week, a Las Vegas middle school campus security monitor was struck by a stray bullet from off-campus.

Two days later, the Clark County School District Superintendent, CCSD PD, and Metro Police held a news conference.

They shared that 30 firearms, 35 BB guns, and 182 knives were confiscated at district campuses since the start of the school year.

They are looking at possible solutions to address the violence that they say is a community issue.

“Clear backpacks,” said Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara. “That’s kind of what some schools are doing.”

“We will be testing piloting some metal detectors at some of our schools,” said CCSD Police Chief Mike Blackeye.

News 3 viewers have also shared their thoughts on metal detectors and clear backpacks on the Crisis in the Classroom tip line.

“Metal detectors are needed in and around all schools across the United States,” said one News 3 viewer in a phone call.

“It has just gotten way out of hand,” said Donna, a News 3 viewer and grandmother. “And these kids need to be held accountable. When they see the backpacks, maybe they should carry clear ones, clear plastic backpacks so that you can see what’s in there for sure.”

We’re hearing from the public on the KSNV Facebook page as well.

Belsin says “Who will be guarding the metal detectors? Actual armed cops? Metal detectors with unarmed security will do No good.”

Kitty is in favor of the safety measures.

She posted “That was definitely a thing when I was in high school, but that was right after Columbine sh⁰⁰tïng in 99. Some schools wouldn’t even allow backpacks. I didn’t know they stopped these practices, and yeah it should be a standard throughout all the schools.”

Erin commented “I don’t want my kids carrying clear backpacks. I want them to be able to carry a Kevlar backpack, because that is more likely going to save their lives then metal detectors or being able to see inside bags!”

Trump is not convinced the clear backpacks and metal detectors will solve safety issues.

“Clear backpacks end up making school officials play the backpack police all day, creates another level of bureaucracy,” he said. “Kids can hide objects inside, carry them on their person if they have weapons, find other ways to get them into schools.”

He also believes metal detectors aren’t the solution.

“Just for background traditional metal detectors, which often cause a lot of delays and getting kids through the school is the reason many schools haven’t used them,” said Trump.

Trump says new artificial intelligence metal detectors are rolling out in some schools in the U.S.

“They often do not detect knives, even sub compact smaller guns in some cases,” said Trump. “And they require an enormous amount of staff to not only supervise the area where kids are being screened and secondary screened, but also man the campus.”

He says using these staffing resources is a challenge at a time when schools are already short teachers, support staff, and security personnel.

Watch Dr. Trump’s full interview here:

Trump believes the best option is to train the staff for preventative measures.

“The number one way we find out about weapons plots, kids who are going to cause harm to themselves and others, is when a kid comes forward and tells an adult that they trust,” he said. “So, we need to invest in training our people from prevention, to dealing with the social, emotional, mental health supports to kids, all the way up to security and emergency planning.”

Trump stresses there must be comprehensive training throughout the school year.

He says the training should include teaching staff about situational awareness, for example being able to notice if someone or a group is acting strange, or is about to fight.

Trump says it should also help employees know how to make decisions under duress, like if a stranger comes onto campus.

He also believes staff should know what to do when they recognize these issues.

As far as the safety measures CCSD leaders are looking at for next school year, they’re still in the preliminary stages of looking at different options.

Are you in favor of clear backpacks and metal detectors at our schools?

Take our poll, here.

Reach out on issues important to you in our schools to the Crisis in the Classroom tip line: email [email protected], or call 702-805-0489.

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