Israel's extensive security measures make school violence nearly inexistent, and could be a model for the US.
After Tuesday’s deadly school shooting in Texas, many are seeking solutions to prevent future tragedies. While some are suggesting gun control measures others believe that ramping up school security will provide more realistic solutions. Because of this, some are asking if Israel’s approach to protecting teachers and students would work in the United States.
School security measures vary state by state. In some areas school gates are left open, doors are unlocked, and playgrounds are not fully secure. Stricter measures have been placed in other areas. Some schools are even working to employ K-9 units to sniff out weapons and explosives on a regular basis.
Even so, parents, teachers, and students are seeking consistent school safety measures that prove to deter intruders and prevent violent attacks within school grounds. Despite the rise in terrorist attacks on Isreal, Israeli schools have only experienced 6 attacks since 1974. This is a result of extensive school security initiatives that evenly distributes the responsibility through leaders, law enforcement, and now, also community volunteers.
Yigal Arbiv recently explained this system to Fox News, detailing the many layers that provide school security to children and the teachers educating them each day. He noted that Israeli schools place a security official 50 meters from the school to watch for suspicious activity. In addition, visitors are only allowed to approach and enter the school from a single direction.
At the location he worked for, Arbiv noted that a fence surrounded the perimeter and cameras monitored the entire facility. Everyone went in and out of the single entrance/exit and passed through a metal detector. These are standard school security measures in Israel, and though Americans may balk at the idea of introducing such restrictive access to public schools, The Biden Administration has claimed that domestic terrorism is one of America’s greatest threats. Democrats who believe this are pushing for gun control, but blocked a school safety bill shortly after news of the Texas school shooting that rocked the nation. If these leaders truly believe that domestic terrorism is a threat, why wouldn’t they consider the benefits of a system like Israeli’s extensive school security measures, which have proven to protect students and teachers even when facing serious recurring terrorist attacks?
What’s more, the founder of the Israel Defense and Security Forum (IDSF), Amir Avivi, explained that every school entrance has an armed guard protecting it. Most recently the IDSF has begun recruiting community volunteers due to the uptick in terrorism. Volunteers are trained to defend school security and even protect the border. Avivi proudly admitted that the program recruited 500 people in a single day. He believes this is due to the fact that “civilian society understands the shortcomings of government.”
Many American parents recognize and express their displeasure at the “shortcomings of government” every day. It is for this very reason that some schools in the U.S. already have parent volunteers working to provide better school security. If programs like these were expanded and more safety measures — like those proven to work in Israel — were implemented across the nation, schools would likely be safer. This solution would protect children without stripping legal gun owners of their constitutional rights. Whether or not it is seriously considered is yet to be seen.