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Security consultant: Schools must create comprehensive plan for safety

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(WVUE) -

There was more discussion Friday about how to keep students safe at school. Both President Donald Trump and Mayor Mitch Landrieu addressed the option of arming teachers. Yet, security professionals say school leaders must first take a look at their comprehensive safety plan. 

"It's time to make our schools much harder targets," said President Trump. 

It's a sentiment shared by national and local leaders alike. 

"Hardening assets is important...We have to think about security measures, unfortunately, like we have at airports. So, I think everything has to be on the table. I think now is the time to put down the rhetoric and for us to really analyze there's a problem," explained Mayor Landrieu. 

While there's been a lot of talk about arming teachers, security experts say there are others measures that can be taken to better protect students.

"Every school district needs to examine or evaluate their security plans," said former NOPD deputy superintendent and security consultant Marlon Defillo.

Defillo says that means starting a discussion about infrastructure both inside and outside schools.

"Look at the locking mechanisms on the doors of schools, look at external cameras, look at making sure you have monitors in the school to see the exterior of the school," Defillo said. 

Inside, he says safe rooms must be put in place and so must codes that go out over the PA system, signaling an emergency.

Defillo says school resource officers and armed guards aren't enough. There must be a comprehensive plan and extensive communication with everyone on board, from school officials and law enforcement to community members.

Though it may not be an easy fix, he says we must start somewhere. 

"Obviously, we don't have time to waste, and you can't put a price tag on a life. So school districts need to start looking at their budgets, start looking at whether there's a comprehensive plan. Now is the time for a very frank and honest discussion on what we are going to prioritize in our school systems," explained Defillo.  

While President Trump touted the idea of arming adept teachers, the Jefferson Parish Teachers Union says they don't want any guns on campus unless law enforcement carries them.

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