Security Assessment at ETHS Guides Next Steps, Further Prioritizes School Safety
May 10, 2022 8:30am CT
Evanston Township High School District 202 completed a security assessment of its facilities and response plans to strengthen, enhance, and further prioritize safety for the school’s 65-acre campus. The assessment was independently conducted in March 2022 by Facility Engineering Associates (FEA) through employee interviews and visual observations. FEA made recommendations about the ways that ETHS can deter, detect, delay, and respond to crisis situations through a patented methodology and approach.
The summary of the assessment was presented at the May 9, 2022 Board of Education meeting. Details in the full report cannot be made publicly available because it highlights safety vulnerabilities that could reasonably be expected to jeopardize the effectiveness of the measures or the safety of the personnel who implement them or the public. While ETHS was not able to provide a comprehensive list of recommendations from the report, the analysis helped highlight many factors that contribute to a safer environment for all students, staff, and visitors.
According to the Director of Safety at ETHS, Matt Driscoll, a variety of practices have already been utilized. For example, ETHS regularly tests alarms and monitors doors for anomalies and propping mechanisms. Certain effective measures that are in place, such as training and signage, are part of ongoing response efforts and will be further enhanced as determined by current best practices.
The analysis also helped prioritize action items that ETHS will be able to complete in the near future. Keith Robinson, ETHS Associate Principal for Educational Services, highlighted the continued work and collaboration with experts, acquiring additional emergency supplies, and improving evacuation plans.
During the May 9 Board meeting, ETHS Assistant Superintendent and Principal Marcus Campbell spoke directly to the topic of metal detectors. Pointing out that metal detectors do not serve as a preventive measure against school violence, Campbell noted that “one of the main things that minimizes the risk of in-school violence is building a school community of trust.”
“We can take steps to make ETHS a safer school with a just and equitable learning environment for all students,” Campbell added. “And we will do this with empathy and compassion for the students and staff who come to this building every day.”
The summary of the Facility Engineering Associates Update is available on the ETHS website.