Here’s How Rock Hill School District Expanded Its Lockdown Capabilities
This K-12 district in South Carolina enhanced school security by integrating door hardware that enables remote lockdown at secondary perimeter doors.
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Rock Hill School District, located in York County, S.C., welcomes nearly 18,000 students to its campuses each fall. It’s the largest district in the county and 11th largest in the state, sprawling more than 3.1 million square feet. It’s no surprise that the school district has gone the extra mile to secure its students, staff and facilities.
Fortunately, Rock Hill schools haven’t been victims of any serious or violent incidents. But they’ve always been readily prepared for emergency situations.
“We have 31 locations,” says Tim Boan, access control technician for Rock Hill Schools. “When an incident like a robbery or police chase happens, we need to lock down two or three schools and ensure students are safely inside. Our schools have gone the extra mile to make sure our office staff, custodial and other employees have the proper training to ensure lockdowns are taken seriously and everyone knows what to do during an emergency. Police officers are the only people who can let someone into the building. Employees know that they must follow the school’s procedures for safety when outside of the building during this time.”
This level of preparedness and response requires an advanced level of training and accountability. It also requires security solutions that make lockdown and access control possible.
Rock Hill’s classroom and office-door locks are predominately a combination of Schlage LE and NDE wireless electronic locks as well as some Schlage AD-400 wireless electronic locks. These integrate with the school’s access control software provider, which allows for lockdown across each building — and the entire district. It also allows staff like Boan the option to set up event schedules to reduce manual efforts.
What Does ‘Dogging’ Mean?
According to idighardware.com, the term “dogging” refers to holding the latch(es) of a panic device retracted to create a push/pull function. When the panic device is dogged, it is unlocked/unlatched and you can just pull on the door to open it.
Secondary Openings Posed Challenges
While all the schools are connected to the access control system, until recently there was a missing piece: the secondary perimeter openings. The primary openings or main entrances were controlled through the access control system, but the remaining perimeter doors needed to be secured manually. This meant the staff still needed to physically lock these doors.
Ideally, every opening in K-12 facilities would be connected to access control software. However, according to Yong Lacy, Allegion America’s category leader, openings, historically that type of connectivity was not practical or affordable for most schools.
“Schools want the safest, most secure solutions to protect students and staff,” says Lacy. “However, these schools are also up against tight budgets, so connecting all perimeter openings often was not an option. Instead, schools may have kept secondary openings locked throughout the day, but this required manual touring to verify the status of each opening.”
According to findings from the research group SMARI, it’s estimated that only half of the secondary doors in schools with a networked access control system are connected because the majority of available security funds are focused on the main entrances.
Additionally, more than half of schools report that their perimeter doors are left unlocked or propped open, which results in vulnerabilities that compromise a building’s security solution—even one as advanced as Rock Hill.
Undogging Solution Improves Perimeter Security
To enhance perimeter security, Rock Hill decided to implement the Von Duprin Remote Undogging (RU) option from Allegion. When paired with a leading access control software provider, Allegion’s Von Duprin upgrade solution is designed to extend access control to perimeter openings, making it ideal for K-12 facilities.
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Campus Safety magazine is another great resource for public safety, security and emergency management professionals. It covers all aspects of campus safety, including access control, video surveillance, mass notification and security staff practices. Whether you work in K-12, higher ed, a hospital or corporation, Campus Safety magazine is here to help you do your job better!