How are school lockdowns these days?

So are schools completely closed off during school hours to prevent random folks coming in. I was thinking about the time I went back to my high school (early 00s); I was in college, but I could not think of any professor who could do my recommendation for a professional program, so my friend suggested I try a high school teacher who remembered me. She suggested one of our teachers that she heard did many students’ recommendations, and we knew she had an off period in afternoon. I simply entered the building and waltzed right in! Knowing where her classroom was I entered! She wasn’t there but her student helpers were and she said just to wait for her. She came in and just said a quick hello and I explained to her about if she could fill out my paperwork. She blew up at me then said she was really busy and couldn’t do it. But that wasn’t what shocked me…it was that she didn’t even ask what I was doing entering the premises! I was downtrodden and trudged down the hallway where I saw my economics teacher who recognized me. I told her my story of needing a recommendation and she offered to fill it out for me. And once again she didn’t ask what I was doing there!

Some time later, my friends told me the proper protocol was to enter the office to get a badge to get permission to enter the school. The teachers probably thought I had one. But now looking back, wow!

These days you wouldn’t get past the gate to the parking lot without a teacher giving advance permission for you to be on campus. After that you are IDd, badged, tracked and watched until you leave campus.

As a parent I do the school the courtesy of following the rules, but it is a trivial exercise to get into my son’s high school.

To tell you the truth, it doesn’t even worry me.

In our area, the district built fences around all the schools & during school hours, the only open gate is the one directly in front of the front office. So the only way to get in is through the front office, where you’ll get vetted.

At the schools my sons have attended here in North Texas, the parking lots aren’t gated, but all of the doors are locked. You have to go to the office to be let in, IDed and then badged. If you volunteer a lot at the school, you might have a more permanent badge for the school year and they won’t keep rechecking your ID.

Also, around here, lockdown is a separate thing. That’s when all the internal doors are locked as well and everyone shelters in place because of a shooter in the building.

During school hours around here, you are buzzed in. Because the buildings were all built before we worried too much about loaded guns, desks have been set up near the door for you to sign in and get a badge. Once you signed in, you are free to roam the school with your badge properly displayed.

Personally, its a lot of security theatre. Its Minnesota, you can carry several high magazine weapons under your average down coat…and if you are taking out school children with guns, you probably figure everyone is going to know who did it, so signing in and wearing a badge isn’t exactly a deterrent.

I’ve heard that securing the school is not so much because of the possibility of a shooter as it is parents in custody disputes or domestic violence issues.

I have a question about your school layouts. Are they all (or mostly ) like the movies where it’s one central building with a single hallway with classes / offices on both sides? Are the different grades usually in the same buidling? I ask because in Hawaii, because of the weather, all the schools I’ve seen here (elementary, high school college) have an open walkway (no hallways) leading to the classes/offices. Different grades, as well as the gym and auditorium are in separate buildings, so you don’t really see students from different grades since there’s no central hallway.

I graduated from a recently-built high school in the mid/late-2000s and the school was built so that during the school day, all doors would be locked except the one into the front office. I think the other doors may have actually locked automatically when the bell rang to begin the day. The other schools in the district were also renovated to move the office to the front door, rather than the middle of the building where they’d been.

When I started, all of the interior doorways had windows. There was another moral panic about school shootings during my senior year, and all of those windows had to be covered, and a few weeks before I graduated we had the district’s very first lockdown drill.

I can’t imagine the security panic has eased up since then.

All the schools in my county have been hardened and have a police officer on duty at all times.

Three years ago, as a favor to a friend of mine, I participated in a career day at a local high school. I was told to show up, park in a specific lot, then enter through a specific door.

There was a cop manning the entry door. He asked to see ID and I showed my driver’s license. He looked a t his clipboard and found my name. Then he told me he had to pat me down. I sort of freaked. “I’m taking a fucking afternoon off of work and you wanna pat me down? Fuck that!” I asked if each of the students had been patted down and he told me they hadn’t. I turned to leave and he called me back and let me through.

Geez, my high school had classes scheduled like college. I might have English at 1. History at 3. I’d drive home during my break.

We were supposed to go to study hall or a teachers classroom for homework help. Most of us left campus. No one really cared.

There were a dozen ways to come and go. Completely unmonitored.

At our local district, you can walk into the front door & talk to someone in the office at a window or desk but you need to be buzzed thru the second door into the building properly past the atrium or lobby. People coming in must scan their ID, which includes a check of the child abuse database. I have no idea what happens if you have a conviction in your past & are there to pick up your kid/grandkid/niece/nephew.
City schools have metal detectors that students & visitors (not sure about staff) walk thru before getting past the lobby.

My kids’ school had a recent lockdown due to another school in the district having a incident. Nothing gun related, but another threat. District policy locks down everywhere, until they can confirm safety at each campus separately.

Wow, that’s some quick construction. :wink:

That’s common here in SoCal as well. My kids’ school has put fencing up around the whole campus, and then added visibility barriers as well so you can’t even look into school from the outside.

To get in you have to present yourself to the front office staff and get buzzed in. After-hours pick-ups use a side gate with a pin code. Every family gets a different code, and they audit the logs to make sure you haven’t given the number out.

That doesn’t happen in Minnesota, where there are times when we cancel school due to the risk of frostbite while waiting for the bus. They are big buildings, usually with several “central” hallways (sometimes built in a square, sometimes spokes from a central hub, sometimes what looks like random additions where they had space to stick them. (My kids high school was phallic shaped from the air). But - with rare exceptions - classes and offices are inside one central building