There has been much talk lately about stricter gun control, arming teachers and allowing concealed carry license holders on campuses — all ideas to “prevent” more tragedies. If one local company is to be believed, more schools are seeking the help of professionals to make campuses safer.
Hanan Yadin is the president of ISI, a Houston-based company that offers training to not only military and law enforcement but also school personnel.
“We have several drills, such as fire drills, natural disaster drills and of course when you have an intruder or what we call over here an active shooter.”
He says in the wake of recent shootings, his company is getting more inquiries from schools and first responders. ISI teaches emergency drills and offers seminars and workshops to school staff as well as students. Yadin says in the case of the Lone Star College shooting, the gunman should have never made it onto the campus.
“Once you have a person with a firearm that close to the school, the system has failed. A person should not go into the school that close with a firearm, and what is recommended is to provide some sort of circles of security.”
That could be a fence around the campus, metal detectors or campus patrol. Yadin says he understands the difficulty of balancing the need for safety with the interests of students, staff and parents.
“The security has not to burden or make the life more difficult for the occupants of that facility, but there is some measures that needs to be taken. Unfortunately, these days we cannot ignore it anymore.”
Arming teachers is not one of his solutions. In fact, Yadin says, that would make schools less safe. His approach is to first off train students and staff to recognize the signs, such as suspicious activity or objects. And to assign students active tasks, such as patrolling, and teaching them first aid. As a last resort, seniors are taught hand-to-hand fighting and how to disarm an assailant.
“To a certain point, students can be participating in self-defense measures when there’s no other choice, when they’re in a situation, not to walk like a herd of sheep to slaughter.”
Yadin points out that there are many possible threats to schools, not just the random insane gunman scenario.
“We hear active shooter, active shooter, but as far as I’m concerned, I want to make sure that the schools are protected for any type of threat. Could be terrorism, could be active shooter, unstable individual, disgruntled employee, angry parent. Schools must be a safe place for students to be.”
Yadin would not disclose which schools he works with, but he says ISI consults at least 12 public and private schools nationwide, about six of those in the Houston area. Depending on security needs, the price for the services ranges from $5,000 to $50,000.