The tragic shootings at Sandy Hook in 2012 left a nation shocked and grieving. Not only were there 26 victims whose families would be forever altered, but most of the violence took place at an elementary school in a relatively small, quiet, peaceful Connecticut town.
Sandy Hook was not the first nor the last school shooting. And though the nation has tried to deal with the threat of violence on public school grounds, the massacre in Newton elevated the issue to a new level. As a result, the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission issued a 277-page report in 2015 and the Federal Commission on School Safety has continued to issue recommendations and guidelines for school districts across the country.
When it comes to school safety, there is no perfect solution. No building can be made 100% threat-proof.
But we can implement strategies, response plans, and deterrents that can make a difference should the worst happen. In fact, the Federal Commission on School Safety and the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission report both recommended safety window film as deterrents in schools. Safety window film, security window film, and hybrid safety-security window film are three such deterrents.
How window film can make schools safer
Today’s contemporary safety window films offer a baseline level of protection for vulnerable buildings, offices, and classrooms. Most are designed to reduce shatter when the glass is broken or penetrated. Safety film layered on the interior offers a first line of defense, and school administrators can opt to include a second layer of protection on the exterior.
One of the original functions of window film—tinting—continues to be a feature of many modern safety-security window films, though with a newly evolved purpose: privacy. Today’s highrises, office complexes, and exposed building facades often have a shaded, or tinted window film application throughout as a way to ensure privacy. This tinting also very likely reduces the solar load on a building.
As it turns out, the privacy benefit that comes with shading and tinting in window film also has a particular safety benefit: windows that are shaded or darkened on the exterior make it more difficult for shooters to target individuals within a classroom, office, or building. This benefit can serve as a major deterrent to a single-minded individual who means to do harm with a firearm.
No deterrent can stop all threats. But safety and security window film can help significantly deter the impact of a threat emanating from outside the classroom or office. NGS offers a unique building hardening program ideal for school districts, offering:
- Zoned survey approach that mirrors the Federal Commission on School Safety
- Free surveys delivered with area maps and photos numbered to match zone and area
- Free proprietary software to tailor the scope and price of each building to match a budget or grant
- Nationwide government and education contracting vehicles to streamline requisition
- Government contracting vehicles that are Edgar-compliant to streamline requisition
Available Funding For Building Hardening
Every public school district in America has a budget, and every public school has a list of things they need. Many times administrators have to choose between salaries, supplies, safety, and security. It’s an incredibly tough spot to be in, and budget allocations will continue to be a source of wrangling, dispute, argument, and controversy.
Thankfully, there is money out there for cash-strapped school districts. They’re called grants, and you might qualify! Here’s a list of potential grants that could help you harden your buildings:
- Homeland Security Grant Program – $1,120,000,000
- Emergency Management Performance Grant Program – $355,100,000
- Intercity Bus Security Grant Program – $2,000,000
- Transit Security Grant Program – $88,000,000
- Port Security Grant Program – $100,000,000
- Nonprofit Security Grant Program – $90,000,000
- School Safety Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) – $50,000,000
NGS has a team of consultants who are dedicated to just this issue: locating and procuring grant money for the specific purpose of making your school safer. As teachers, principals, and administrators well know, the universe of grants can be more difficult to navigate than you can imagine, and even when you do lock onto a particular grant that suits your needs, the proposal process can be an entirely separate, even more complex process.
Schedule a complimentary glass hardening assessment for your school or district with NGS. We can also help show you the grant money, so you can procure the safety, security, and hybrid window film products that make your school districts safer for future generations.