School-shootings and preemptive protection in Europe: How far have you gone, how far should we go?

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Greetings.
As some of you know, Schools-shootings and the like are far less common in Europe than in the states (and if a certain someone derails this topic into a gun-control debate, I will be mighty displeased), and as a result, based upon at least where I live (Sweden), we have far less security.
My university, University of Gothenburg, has pretty much none. There's no metal detectors, no surveillance and no security-guards what so ever. And this is for an university that harbors some 30.000 students (Edit: I grossly misremembered the statistics).
And I am starting to feel a bit uneasy. Sure, there's no indication of violence being on the rise in Sweden, and the "it's only a matter of time"-argument seems equally true for anything it is applied to (that is; Given long enough a time-period, almost any social institution will be struck by a tragedy), but does this excuse having no protection at all?
On the other side, it's been argued that increasing protection for 'preemptive purposes' might make people feel MORE insecure, and actually lead to an increase in violence, though I have not read any studies to support this.
On the other hand, there was that school-shooting in Finland not long ago, but this doesn't seem to have actually encouraged any change in policy where I live.

So, how do the rest of you feel? How is the situation in England/Germany/France/Etc, and should there be a change? Why and how?
If you're from the States, feel free to pitch your opinion anyway.

I've been out of University for a few years now, so my information might be somewhat out of date.

But to my knowledge no schools, colleges or university have any kind of preventive measures against shooters. (Though there might be some, I just never heard of). To my recollection we had 1 school shooting here 10-15 years ago, 1 guy with a revolver managed to hit 3 people and kill no one (exact info is sketchy, I'll try to find more later).

There was a threat on the internet last weekend, and all high-schools and vocational colleges (is that the correct term?) in the town of Leiden (about 20 miles from where I live) were closed Monday while the police investigated, nothing happened (including no arrest), and the schools reopened yesterday, though they do have police officers stationed at all schools still. According to press releases "until the situation is resolved".

On average I (and I think most people) don't really worry about things like this, shootings in general are very rare here, and I don't expect a sudden increase any time soon.

EDIT: I'm in the Netherlands BTW.

My university and old secondary school have no metal detectors and a small handful of security guards who are rarely seen, here in the UK I don't believe there has been a school shooting since Dunblane in 1997 and so it simply isn't considered worth the effort or cost to have such precautions. I agree with this really, there's no point wasting time and money on precautions against such a minimal risk, the sheer difficulty of obtaining a gun in the UK is largely our protection against shootings.

That said, there are some security features around schools but generally aren't shooting related, my old secondary school had surveillance cameras to deter and identify vandals, drugs and other stupid shit some teens get up to. A primary school I used to volunteer had gates and doors that could only be opened from the inside so you had to request permission to get in but they are more to prevent wannabe kid-snatchers sneaking their way into the school undetected rather than shooters.

Well, it's widely known that the UK has the most CCTV in the world, although a large proportion is London based.

I know Primary and High Schools (well, the three I have knowledge of, I don't actually know if it's standard) are designed with sort of 'airlock' entrances, so people without keys need to be let in by the staff at the front desk before they can get into the school proper. I don't know if it's mandatory, but a lot have them and it became much more common after Dunblane.

My Uni has a few security cameras dotted around, and you need a pass card to get into the Physics department between 5pm and 8am(again, can't say much about other buildings, as I basically live in the Physics building). Also there are a few security officers. I think they're mostly there to deter vandals/ thieves than out of any safety concern though.

So on the whole, there are pretty decent security measures in place in the UK.

Metal detectors and armed guards in schools is about the most ridiculous overmeasure imaginable apart from housing your own mercenary army to avoid a possible Die Hard scenario. Sure, there is a small chance that you might get something into your eye that can take out your eyesight but I don't see many walking around with protective goggles unless they are in an environment where eye danger is increased.

And considering the last shooting in an Austrian educational facility was in 1936 and that was one guy shooting another that just so happened to take place on university grounds there is really no conceivable reason to have any more than our few unarmed securities that are more or less only watching out for vandalism and theft anyway.

I never had armed any guards or metal detectors in any schools I've attended. It's completely ludicrous.

We had some cameras, but that's it.

Frission:
I never had armed guards or metal detectors in any schools I've attended. It's completely ludicrous.

Me either. There wasn't a need.

Though there will be a mass shooting that will happen in Australian schools soon enough I'm sure. As the OP said, there's always a clock on this kind of thing and it will happen eventually.

I think looking at MILD preemptive measures and putting in safeguards is an excellent idea. It's better to think of the ideas before the problems start happening than after.

I'm not sure what an appropriate safeguard would be so I can't comment on that, but I agree there should be one. Probably no need for armed guards or metal detectors though (in Australia anyway), not at this point in time anyway.

Gold:

Frission:
I never had armed guards or metal detectors in any schools I've attended. It's completely ludicrous.

Me either. There wasn't a need.

Though there will be a mass shooting that will happen in Australian schools soon enough I'm sure. As the OP said, there's always a clock on this kind of thing and it will happen eventually.

I think looking at MILD preemptive measures and putting in safeguards is an excellent idea. It's better to think of the ideas before the problems start happening than after.

I'm not sure what an appropriate safeguard would be so I can't comment on that, but I agree there should be one. Probably no need for armed guards or metal detectors though (in Australia anyway), not at this point in time anyway.

Few years back at Ultimo TAFE they had a guy come round and discuss what to happen if there was a shooting. A four minute police response time helps a lot, though.

The only security I noticed at my university (and notice to this day) are locks that require specific keys or keycards for restricted areas. All common areas are without particular security measures. The worst is the lady in the library that yells at you when you forget to store your jacket and bags before entering because they're afraid of people stealing books.

And that's how it should be. These are places of learning. How instrumental could an atmosphere of constant surveillance, control and underlying fear be to concentrating on your studies? How could people feel free and creative with guards on every corner? I'm extremely happy to live in a place where such authoritarian measures are not (as) necessary.

EDIT: Reading about CCTV from other users in this thread, I have to admit I guess there probably are cameras in sensitive areas, but they are very rare as far as I can tell.

Frankly, I've noticed a large difference in how people try to handle things. We have had school shootings, yes. But the proposed solutions are almost always targeted at the reasons for such shootings, valid or misguided as such ideas may be (without weighing any of them, these may include things like better gun control, banning videogames, restricting violent movies, looking into students' mental status, adding counsellors, improving career perspectives and support for people who fail and drop out of school etc.). Others try to adress the symptoms (by adding armed guards, metal detectors, surveillance, control etc.).

While I may disagree with individual proposals of the former group, I would definitely say that I fall into that camp on the issue. I don't think adressing the symptoms can be the solution.

Our school doesn't have any police protection, a suspicious man was spotted inside school grounds couple weeks ago (turns out it was a thief) he was spotted and ran for it and police were called aaand he was caught. System works (yay) Incase someone armed is spotted, well.. It's very open so students can escape pretty much everywhere. Although I'll be honest and say that apart from it being very easy to flee from and close to a police station, the school does not have much security...

In middle school we had an armed security guard and in high school we had two uniformed police officers. Not sure what good they were though, because there were two instances of unknown persons on the school premises with weapons (One was actually a small group of people that had just robbed a bank and were being chased by police and the other was just some guy), but the police didn't do anything. Well, not the ones assigned to the school, anyway. They just kind of hid in their office. Their main job was breaking up fights and arresting kids who were having sex on school grounds, both of which happened with alarming frequency.

This is the States, of course.

Kopikatsu:
In middle school we had an armed security guard and in high school we had two uniformed police officers. Not sure what good they were though, because there were two instances of unknown persons on the school premises with weapons (One was actually a small group of people that had just robbed a bank and were being chased by police and the other was just some guy), but the police didn't do anything. Well, not the ones assigned to the school, anyway. They just kind of hid in their office. Their main job was breaking up fights and arresting kids who were having sex on school grounds, both of which happened with alarming frequency.

This is the States, of course.

I find it quite absurd to the point of parody (except this is sadly real life) that the rest of us are talking University, with adults, and you mention police officers in middle school. That's just...Wow.

Skeleon:

And that's how it should be. These are places of learning. How instrumental could an atmosphere of constant surveillance, control and underlying fear be to concentrating on your studies? How could people feel free and creative with guards on every corner? I'm extremely happy to live in a place where such authoritarian measures are not (as) necessary.

I agree with you, but it only takes one shooting and some rhetorics before the fear-mongering sets in. Captain Highsight will be out to score points, and how do we stop him?
How do we stop people that try to cure the symptom?

Realitycrash:

Kopikatsu:
In middle school we had an armed security guard and in high school we had two uniformed police officers. Not sure what good they were though, because there were two instances of unknown persons on the school premises with weapons (One was actually a small group of people that had just robbed a bank and were being chased by police and the other was just some guy), but the police didn't do anything. Well, not the ones assigned to the school, anyway. They just kind of hid in their office. Their main job was breaking up fights and arresting kids who were having sex on school grounds, both of which happened with alarming frequency.

This is the States, of course.

I find it quite absurd to the point of parody (except this is sadly real life) that the rest of us are talking University, with adults, and you mention police officers in middle school. That's just...Wow.

High school. Middle school was the security guard. We have security guards at my university as well, though.

I hadn't really thought about it before, but it is kind of strange that there were security guards in middle and uni, but actual police officers for high.

There are not any real preemptive measures at UT (aside from Emergency Plans). We do have the campus police force but UT is the size of a small city (70,000 people) and mostly what the campus police does is drive drunks and women home and occasionally break up a fight or a demonstration. We do not have metal detectors. We have security cameras around labs and such but I imagine that all Universities are like that. Beyond that each and every student, faculty, and staff member has a card that lets them into dorms and gives them access to certain buildings. Also, there are buttons scattered around that will automatically inform the UT Police where you are and that you need help.

I feel safe enough on campus and any extra security measures that people have recommended for UT just sounds pointless. My only really issue is going home. My area of Austin is not very safe. Most of the problems are due to drunks and homeless people.

In Scotland guns are not really a problem, it's getting stabbed that people worry about. We had an on-campus police officer in secondary school, but I think that was mostly to scare the kids into behaving. At university we only have a few security cameras and a security person, but that's only at the student union and has more to do with making sure there are no underage drunks in the building than protecting us from violence.

I feel pretty safe at university and don't see the need for an increase to security as it is highly unlikely that we will be attacked.

VCU is in the heart of richmond with police stations less than 10 minutes walk from either side, It's a pretty decent sized campus for an inner city campus. On top of that we have a University police force that overall just drives around and does the usually stuff there expected to do at college campuses, Look for drunk drivers and put the fear of god into people smoking weed in the dorms. Since the VA tech shooting the dorms all went to keypad entry but honestly if someone had half a brain they could sneak a gun in by just waiting outside the door for someone to enter or leave. The biggest thing would be getting past the security desk but if someone was going for a body count they could easily get it in the lobby around noon. After all the security desk is just manned by regular people not security guards.

I feel relatively safe walking in my area since it's only a couple blocks from one of those police stations and I always see cop cars but it's the same as most cities walk too many blocks in one direction alone your a prime target for a mugging. They've done a lot to improve the safety of the school about a decade before I got here it wasn't unheard of to have a shooting right behind the dorm buildings where there was a bad local bar.

Overall I think having police on campus is a good thing if anything it makes people think twice about doing excessively stupid things but if someone is willing to go out and perform a massacre a cop presence isn't going to stop them just make it so they aim for the guy with a badge first.

Quaxar:
Metal detectors and armed guards in schools is about the most ridiculous overmeasure imaginable apart from housing your own mercenary army to avoid a possible Die Hard scenario. Sure, there is a small chance that you might get something into your eye that can take out your eyesight but I don't see many walking around with protective goggles unless they are in an environment where eye danger is increased.

And considering the last shooting in an Austrian educational facility was in 1936 and that was one guy shooting another that just so happened to take place on university grounds there is really no conceivable reason to have any more than our few unarmed securities that are more or less only watching out for vandalism and theft anyway.

In america the metal detectors and guards aren't for taking out mass shooters. This isn't the norm in america but in certain cities it is the right thing to do. Where there are gang members as young as grade school. It may not be as bad as south of the US border but for a first world nation it's ridiculous and from what i've heard the metal detectors are necessary.

There was one shooting incident in any educational institution in the entire forensic history of Hungary to date. That particular shooting happened on a university, 3 years ago. Four was shot, sadly one of them died. After the deed the shooter gave himself up.
Another student was planning a shooting only 3 months later, he was caught in time.

We have very strict conditions for permits to use a gun, not to mention to own one. A single gun related misdemeanor and you're restricted from any kind of gun use for two years. Every aspect of gun ownership is strictly regulated and enforced, and it works.

Edit:
Sorry for mentioning gun control, but that's the first stop for avoiding shootings.
As for any draconian security measures, nothing that any larger institution wouldn't have, CCTVs and a couple security guards on universities, well enough to keep shady figures away.

Realitycrash:
I agree with you, but it only takes one shooting and some rhetorics before the fear-mongering sets in. Captain Highsight will be out to score points, and how do we stop him?
How do we stop people that try to cure the symptom?

Does it really just take one shooting and some rhetoric?
There's certainly a big amount of attempts at actionism and fear-mongering whenever a shooting occurs, but even when people around here start calling for bans of violent videogames, I have yet to see a similar level of calls for guards, metal detectors and the like, for outright authoritarian measures. I can't help but think it may be a cultural thing which direction such actionism will take, to a degree. Plus, in countries like ours with much fewer guns in circulation, some measures (like aforementioned metal detectors) are simply less viable than others.

That said, actionism needs to be fought, especially when it's misdirected or misplaced, yes. All in all it's largely hot air, though, when politicians and public figures talk about this or that ill that needs to be adressed. In fact, I find it much more problematic that such occurances are rarely actually followed by consequences (sensible ones, mind). There's a whole lot of talk but nothing ever really comes of it, is my observation. And that's true for Germany (with its different proposals after such massacres) as it is for the USA and presumably other places as well.

There's a lot of righteous indignation about how the youth is corrupted by evil media and whatnot, but nothing is almost ever done, nothing stupid and nothing sensible, either. So in that sense, I wouldn't worry too much...?

dmase:

Quaxar:
Metal detectors and armed guards in schools is about the most ridiculous overmeasure imaginable apart from housing your own mercenary army to avoid a possible Die Hard scenario. Sure, there is a small chance that you might get something into your eye that can take out your eyesight but I don't see many walking around with protective goggles unless they are in an environment where eye danger is increased.

And considering the last shooting in an Austrian educational facility was in 1936 and that was one guy shooting another that just so happened to take place on university grounds there is really no conceivable reason to have any more than our few unarmed securities that are more or less only watching out for vandalism and theft anyway.

In america the metal detectors and guards aren't for taking out mass shooters. This isn't the norm in america but in certain cities it is the right thing to do. Where there are gang members as young as grade school. It may not be as bad as south of the US border but for a first world nation it's ridiculous and from what i've heard the metal detectors are necessary.

I don't condone their use per se, I am well aware that in some dangerous areas those methods might be necessary, but I was under the impression that they were mentioned in the thread specifically as precautions in institutions where there isn't much security in place already. Thus metal detectors are probably completely out of proportion if there's not already a call for security measures.
US gang areas can do what they like but nobody can tell me that he feels unsafe in Sweden of all places if he isn't constantly watched by highly armed paramilitaries and subject to at least 3 cavity searches before he can enter classes.

Welsh Brit talking here. Even if we do have the odd extremely rare shooting, I don't feel the need for more security. Any money that would be put towards scanners and guards would be better spent on mental illness to prevent those who may carry out such an attack from having an opportunity to do so.

My university didn't have any security besides campus police. My campus wasn't very big, though. There was one shooting back in the 90s with one dead and a few injured.

The only security we have are a couple of guys from G4S who seem to do nothing else but issue warnings on cars which are parked like derailed tractors on coke. It must be noted that most classrooms are closed outside typical class times and labs are usually closed at all times unless there is a class inside it.

I've never heard of anything go wrong so i don't see why we would need more security.

I'm at a North English Uni (Lancaster if you want to know) and we have about 4 fat porters in our college whose job is to look out for us and generally tell people who are too loud in the morning to shut up, they also deal with security but I don't think any of the security on campus is allowed to carry fire-arms or even batons, etc. so if somebody wanted to do a stabbing/shooting spree it'd be quite laid back until the cops arrived.

But i cant exactly see that happening any time soon, we're on a campus about 5 miles from the nearest town, no-ones going to bother trekking that far to shoot some peeps, and if they do they will get lost in the maze that is uni accommodation

There are armed police on my campus. They're bretty cool guys.

Well, one thing to remember is that shootings aren't -that- likely to occur in universities. Certainly, they happen, but I do think you are safer there than at high school, at least in that reguard.

In university, after all, you are amongst reasonably mature adults who are at uni because they want to and (hopefully) studies something they find interesting. Also, as an adult, you are treated with some real respect.
In high school, you are there because you have to, and is exclusively surrounded by immature teenagers, and all the downside of teenage culture. It's alot more likely to create an atmosphere in which you would like to gun down your colleagues and teachers. Most of the horriphic things that could motivate you to do that would not be tolerated for a second at the university. Or out in the real world.

That does really add a final lacquer of tragedy to such an event, doesn't it? If the shooter had only held out for a bit longer, they'd be out of purgatory, and it truly would get better for them.

But to answer the main question, I never really did experience any form of security barriers at school, no. The teachers did crack down hard on anyone playing Doom in the computer room, but that was all, really.
At the gymnasium (Schillerska in my case. Hey, we're neighbours, OP! :3) though, there was some security measures. In the aftermath of the shooting in Finland, the teachers began to lock all classroom doors during classes, and we had a few unannounced fire drills. So it was something, but we never had any guards, security checkpoints or visiting policemen. The main idea was "If it happens, you either GTFO, or lock the classroom door and call the police", which does seem fairly reasonable.

The policy as-is works quite well, I think. The risk of a school massacre is fairly low, likely on account of the difficulty for minors to get access to guns. Currently, I don't think security checkpoints, scanners and on-site policemen are really needed. This could change, but the chances for an incident to happen is a bit too low to justify that.

If it really does happen, though, it'll likely not be at the university. It probably be at a school or gymnasium in a troubled area with severe bullying and gang problems (I'm calling Angeredsgymnasiet, myself). But I'm not sure making the education facilities high-security compounds would help much, if the problem is already festering inside.

Well, the university of Alberta has some security guards, although I've never even seen any of them myself. I don't recall seeing any cameras, though, and certainly no metal detectors or anything like that.

My high school had one policeman stationed there, although I don't recall seeing her do anything beyond talk a bit about protecting your valuables from theft a couple times.

Muspelheim:

But to answer the main question, I never really did experience any form of security barriers at school, no. The teachers did crack down hard on anyone playing Doom in the computer room, but that was all, really.
At the gymnasium (Schillerska in my case. Hey, we're neighbours, OP! :3) though, there was some security measures. In the aftermath of the shooting in Finland, the teachers began to lock all classroom doors during classes, and we had a few unannounced fire drills. So it was something, but we never had any guards, security checkpoints or visiting policemen. The main idea was "If it happens, you either GTFO, or lock the classroom door and call the police", which does seem fairly reasonable.

I actually went to Schillerska too, though the idea of feeling threatened in that high-school I find rather ludicrous, unless one find artsy hipster-girls intimidating.
And I played Marathon in the Mac-lab, not Doom.

Muspelheim:
Well, one thing to remember is that shootings aren't -that- likely to occur in universities. Certainly, they happen, but I do think you are safer there than at high school, at least in that reguard.

In university, after all, you are amongst reasonably mature adults who are at uni because they want to and (hopefully) studies something they find interesting. Also, as an adult, you are treated with some real respect.
In high school, you are there because you have to, and is exclusively surrounded by immature teenagers, and all the downside of teenage culture. It's alot more likely to create an atmosphere in which you would like to gun down your colleagues and teachers. Most of the horriphic things that could motivate you to do that would not be tolerated for a second at the university. Or out in the real world.

I wouldn't say that it's entirely that. My university experience did not suggest that many people, particularly those who fit the profile of a spree shooter (white males with megalomania, isolation, depression, or other mental condition) had matured. However, what it did provide were outlets for the aggression with extended downtime, clubs, sports, a sense of community, resources for those with issues, and a sense that they were there voluntarily rather than legal requirement.

On topic: my experience at university, which was a mid-sized private Catholic university in a major US city on the east coast, had about half a dozen unarmed security guards with cameras on the entrance to dorms (with physical or cardkey locks, depending on the dorm) and certain common areas, most notably the commissary. We were only about 3 blocks from the nearest police barracks. We had the occasional mugging due to the semi-spread out nature of the campus, which had some residential buildings a few blocks off campus, but no real security concerns. Most of the security was to prevent trespassers on campus, particularly into the dorms, but the campus was small and hidden enough that everybody recognized everyone's face, so anyone who came in was quickly tagged and chased off. Aside from said-muggings, we never needed to activate the emergency alert system except for weather events.

But in Europe, I think the combination of heavy regulation of weapons necessary to carry out such spree events and proper social safety nets for health and economic situations have helped to diminish both high-profile events and more mundane violent episodes such as robbery-homicide.

In high school we had two janitors who where also the security and a whole range of other things. I liked those guys.

In college and university I didn't see any form of security whatsoever, nor was there any need for it.
This new world, I don't understand it.

A few security guards at some of the biggest schools might be a good idea.

Other than that, I find things like metal detectors to be unnecessary. Unless you turn every school into some super secure place that could serve as a prison... Look, I've been to a whooping 6 schools in my lifetime and if any of them had had metal detectors near the entrance I could have snuck a gun into school anyway. Unless you go and put a 5 meter high fence topped with barb wire around every school someone dedicated is going to find a way past the two metal detectors at the main entrance. Hell, even if you put a fence around a school someone that dedicated is going to cut through it or something.

thaluikhain:

Gold:

Frission:
I never had armed guards or metal detectors in any schools I've attended. It's completely ludicrous.

Me either. There wasn't a need.

Though there will be a mass shooting that will happen in Australian schools soon enough I'm sure. As the OP said, there's always a clock on this kind of thing and it will happen eventually.

I think looking at MILD preemptive measures and putting in safeguards is an excellent idea. It's better to think of the ideas before the problems start happening than after.

I'm not sure what an appropriate safeguard would be so I can't comment on that, but I agree there should be one. Probably no need for armed guards or metal detectors though (in Australia anyway), not at this point in time anyway.

Few years back at Ultimo TAFE they had a guy come round and discuss what to happen if there was a shooting. A four minute police response time helps a lot, though.

.
You can kill many people in four minutes. It's never enough time.

OT: Fenced grounds and a security guard or two. It's not very serious, but it is a standard for government educational institutions. Larger places like Unis have guards on campus as well.

Realitycrash:

I actually went to Schillerska too, though the idea of feeling threatened in that high-school I find rather ludicrous, unless one find artsy hipster-girls intimidating.
And I played Marathon in the Mac-lab, not Doom.

Well, Mister POW! the history teacher was fairly intimidating, I've always imagined him going Arnold on anyone trying to shoot up the place on his watch.

The Gentleman:

I wouldn't say that it's entirely that. My university experience did not suggest that many people, particularly those who fit the profile of a spree shooter (white males with megalomania, isolation, depression, or other mental condition) had matured. However, what it did provide were outlets for the aggression with extended downtime, clubs, sports, a sense of community, resources for those with issues, and a sense that they were there voluntarily rather than legal requirement.

True, of course, there's always the possibility, and age and maturity doesn't decide the likelyhood of a massacre alone. But the difference is, at least to my mind that of hell and heaven between high school and higher education. It's not the lone deciding factor, but I do genuinly believe that it does make a large difference.

In my high school we had one school resource officer, and he happen to have a pistol which I think was a 16 round sig sauer. We also had lots of metal doors that could be shut from the office. This limits the damage, but I argue a guy could just shoot through the window, and the doors did not cover the cafe, and the 2 hallways. I think the doors would not able to trap people if they know about the school, and it would only slow our police officer down if the guy was in a classroom. I still think teachers should be armed unless the school decides to buy bulletproof windows they are screwed.

My german high-school equivalent had (just graduated very recently) (wooden) classroom doors that could only be opened with a key or from the inside of the classroom. Apart from that there aren't any specific security measures I can think of that were designed specifically for the case of a school shooting (apart from training the teachers and a specific signal for the schoolbell). I never felt really threatened because of that and would strongly object to any further measures such as security cameras since they'd greatly impact my sense of personal freedom, comfort and the money needed to keep that thing running could be spent to protect the staff's and students' lifes in far more effective ways (we didn't even have a school psychologist)

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