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.

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.