Pull the Door on the Right!

The expression “Pull the Door on the Right” is one that I typically hate to hear, at least when I’m auditing a school and have been asked absolutely no qualifying questions. I mean what good is it to go through the expense of putting in expensive door locking hardware, an intercom system and access control if there is no enforced policy on controlling the access.

A few simple qualifying questions can indicate a great deal to the building’s designated gatekeeper who will be responsible for entry; How can I help you? May I ask who you are here to see? Can you please state the purpose of your visit?…

In the time that it takes to ask the above questions only thirty to sixty seconds of the gatekeepers time has been invested, but more times than not essential intelligence has been gained.  The gatekeeper may be able to detect nervousness or mental instability or some other desperate response. The response may even be violent. In any of these cases someone with an administrative or intervention authority may be alerted.

Now of course 9 times out of 10 the response will be what was hoped for, the indivdual will be permitted entry and the intended business can be transacted. Its the event where a distraught non custodial parent or a recently fired employee who is focused on nothing good (the reason that policy must be enforces even with people who are celarly recognized) is allowed unfettered entry that we are attempting to prevent.

The above are recommendations in mitigation. By no means should you construe from what I say here that if you correct a gatekeeper’s decision process toward greater vigilence that will be an end all method (a cunning person may be able to mask their disturbance) to hostile visitor entry. The recommendations are merely policy starting points in discouraging unwanted visitors.

Front office personnel and other “gatekeepers” should be made to understand the responsibility that they have to every individual within their school community as the administrators of the first bastion of security in keeping thier school building safe and secure.

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