Active shooting mitigation expert shares tips educators can use to protect children

Posted at 4:52 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 20:18:38-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In the wake of the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, so many of you want to know — is there more we can do to keep our children safe in the classroom?

Brink Fidler, the owner of Defense Systems, does security consulting for a host of businesses. He says his passion is helping train educators if an active shooter makes it inside.

"Because we’re terrible at this as a nation. After Columbine, we should have gotten better, and we haven’t," said Fidler.

Fidler says it starts with having the right classroom door.

"Your door should be locked, the window needs to be covered, and you and your students need to get in what’s called the hard corner — which is the farthest corner from the door on the same wall as the door," he said.

Fidler has extensively studied school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.

"We’ve only seen a couple of incidents where the shooter breached a locked door to get to somebody on the other side. Those incidents were because there was a specific target on the other side of the door. For the most part, when these guys hit a locked door, they move on because they understand the clock has started," said Fidler.

Yet when Fidler gives these presentations to local schools, he finds a disturbing trend.

"At least half if not more than that of my school clients don’t have classroom doors that are lockable from the inside. I mean we’ve got to do something better," he said.

So he's calling on lawmakers to change school building codes to require these and other specifications.

"Small little things like that that we haven’t done as a nation, and I don’t know why but I think that’s what it’s going to take to make this happen," said Fidler.

Until there are systemic changes, Fidler says his passion to protect will continue.

"It’s not if, it’s when there’s going to be another one. These just are not going away, unfortunately," he said.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to several area school systems about their policies regarding locked classroom doors.

Metro Nashville Public Schools, Dickson County Schools and Williamson County Schools all tell NewsChannel 5 they require classroom doors to be locked when students are in the classroom.

Wilson County Schools declined to comment saying, "As a precaution, we would prefer to not disclose specific classroom safety and security information for general media purposes."