School Security Expert Tips – Target Identifiers

I was honored to have the opportunity to keynote an annual state conference for early childcare facility directors in Madison, Wisconsin last February.  During the presentation, I cautioned attendees about target identifiers that can be used by an aggressor to locate a particular staff member or student in a building.  For example, listing teacher’s names on classroom doors or placing student artwork with names on it in the hallway right outside of a classroom door.

After my presentation, one of the officers of the association approached me and related that she had heard me present at a school safety conference in Wisconsin a few years prior and that I had covered the same concern.  She told me that a man breached security at an area elementary school about two weeks after I presented and abducted a child after located the student in this manner.

This is one of the many types of hazards that can be found during a school security assessment.  While attacks and abductions of this type are fortunately relatively rare, they do occur with enough frequency to merit the consideration of school officials.

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About Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a non-profit school safety center. The author of 27 books on school safety, Michael’s campus safety work has taken him to 11 countries over the past 34 years.