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Protecting Schools the Israeli Way

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

To follow up on my explosively popular article, “Israel Figured Out How to Prevent School Shootings 40 years Ago” (thank you, readers), it’s time to get specific about protecting the schools in this country. While everyone else argues over the impossible, that is, impossible prevention of any kind of violence by rolling back Constitutional rights, we can look to the way Israel protects its schools, and its most treasured possession, its children.


Ben Goldstein, an American who made aliyah to Israel, and now serves as volunteer security, and is co-founder of AKRAV Global Security Solutions, described the Israeli method, and how easy it would be for America to follow Israel’s example.

Goldstein describes security as being a set of concentric circles, beginning in the classroom and extending outward, each circle providing a layer of security.

The widest circles belong to law enforcement and society, doing their best to track and forestall potential threats, and more effectively treat mental illness.  We’ve now learned of multiple catastrophic failures at every level of social and political prevention in the Parkland shooting.  

If society and law enforcement failed this badly, the idea that guns should be taken out of the hands of law-abiding citizens is folly.

The security circles that we can do something about begin at any school’s entrance, says Goldstein. America wants action.  This is action that can be taken right now. "There should only be one entrance and exit into any school property. Fences, security cameras, and a constant check that these areas have not been compromised is essential. At that one entrance, a guard must know exactly who it is that is entering the school property at all times. The guard should have the right to search all vehicles and bags.”

Guards at movie studios check ID and are permitted to search vehicles entering the lot.  After 9/11, they even used mirrors to look underneath cars.  How can we protect movie studios, yet not give our children the same protection?


“There should be a minimum of two guards on every campus, providing a contingency in case one of them is disabled,” Goldstein adds.“Who are these guards? There are thousands of proud veterans who would gladly step up and use their training to protect our nation's children, as well as be grateful for the employment.”

Numerous inner city schools already have tight security, which includes kids walking through metal detectors and having bags searched upon entry.  There is no reason why the rest of America’s schools lack this same security.

The next security circle is on school grounds. Besides the roaming guards, Goldstein says that having a certain number of armed teachers makes perfect sense. That doesn't mean that they should be open–carrying on campus, although in certain circumstances, such as with military veterans and gun owners with lifetime experience, it makes sense.

Alternatively, like the federal air marshal program, some teachers should have concealed carry, so that a student who is contemplating harm would not know who carried a weapon, creating a deterrent.

Guards, however, should be limited only to dealing with existential threats, not routine school discipline.

Then there are the classrooms themselves, which Goldstein believes have no reason to ever be breached.

"Active shooter drills are a necessity. But those drills are much less valuable unless the first words out of a teacher’s or administrator's mouth is, ‘barricade, barricade, barricade’,” Goldstein says.“A shooter is going to have a very difficult time getting into any room that is blocked by a large teacher's desk, bookcases, and student desks. Every second counts, and the longer the shooter is unable to target victims, giving law enforcement precious extra minutes to arrive.”


These drills should be run frequently, Goldstein says.

The final security circle is the students themselves.  “It's time America toughened up its kids. There is been a long-running political agenda in the United States which is been so detrimental to children. Nobody wants to unnecessarily scare kids. We all want to be protective parents. But the best protection a kid can have is to know how to defend himself,” Goldstein argues.

“Right now, students are sitting ducks in classrooms. They need to be trained, should a shooter actually get in, to throw everything at him: books, computers, chairs, whatever it takes."

“Still, none of that is a substitute for an armed teacher,” Goldstein says.  Safes can be installed in every classroom.  Teachers who are veterans or experienced firearm users would have the combination.  However, students would not know which safes had guns, again creating a deterrent.

Where does the funding come from?  A combination of some or all of the following, depending on the district:  1) Reallocation of current district resources away from useless and bloated administration, 2) increase in local property tax, 3) local or state municipal bonds, 4) Reallocation of some of the useless pork in the $1.3 trillion omnibus package.  

For all you gun control advocates out there waiting for Congress to “do something”, you should know that tens of millions of dollars originally appropriated for the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative was canceled as part of the bi-partisan budget bill.


Congress can’t even allocate money for a study.You really think it’s going to save our kids?

Why does the Left oppose common sense security?The typical answer is sarcastic:“So you’re solution is to have more guns in schools!”  Yet that very statement belies the Left’s attitudes towards violence.  They blame an inert object, rather than the criminal.  

We protect our airports, banks, sports stadiums, concert halls, and government property.It’s time to protect that which we care about the most.

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