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Should students, teachers have to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Were it not for Keanon Lowe, we might have been reading very different headlines last week.

Lowe, a former wide receiver for the University of Oregon, tackled and disarmed a student who entered a classroom at Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon, wielding a shotgun. Lowe is a football and track and field coach for the school.

“When I signed up to be a Security Guard, Football and Track & Field Coach for Parkrose High School, I did so to guide and coach young people whose shoes I had once been in. I had no idea, that I would one day have to put my life on the line like I did yesterday for my students,” said in a tweet following the incident.

But what was once unimaginable – staff, students and teachers being forced to confront gunmen in schools – is now depressingly commonplace. In recent weeks, students have been shot and killed confronting gunmen on two different campuses.

Kendrick Castillo, and 18-year-old just days from graduation, lunged at shooters on the campus of STEM School Highlands Ranch in suburban Denver, Colorado on May 7. His quick action may have saved the lives of others, but it cost him his own.

A 21-year-old man named Riley Howell was forced to make the same split-second decision when a gunman opened fire at UNC Charlotte on April 30. Howell was also killed, but is credited with saving others by taking down the gunman.

These recent incidents have ignited complicated conversations around current active shooter response protocol – run, hide, fight – and about the demands placed on students, teachers and staff to make life and death decisions.

While we grapple with these questions, it’s important to investigate ways to make campuses as safer.   The Guardian indoor shot detection system offered by Shooter Detection Services uses acoustic and infrared sensors – no bigger and no more obtrusive than smoke detectors — to automatically detect and instantly report shots fired. Guardian can integrate with systems to automatically lock doors the moment a shot is detected, limiting a shooter’s movement and/or keeping potential targets out of harm’s way.

Given the commonplace nature of gun violence in our country, I believe we are rapidly moving to  place where gunshot detection systems should be considered as standard safety equipment in a facility, much like fire detection and suppression systems.

Interested in learning more about Guardian? Call (800) 567-1180 for a consultation.

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