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(By Chris Sharp) I may as well tell you at the outset that there will be no little red school houses being built these days.  In fact, the bigger-than-life school houses being built today are practically a reaction against any smaller schools that were built earlier.  One large reason for the newer and larger public school buildings is continued centralization and population growth in America’s suburban cities. Another reason – unfortunately – is student safety in an age of emerging violence from both Human Nature and Mother Nature.

At the same time, fading into antiquity are the glass motifs of buildings including school buildings that had once been inspired by what had been described as architectural modernists such as Philip Johnson and Edward Larrabee Barnes.

The main reason? Because glass is not safe in today’s world of natural and human violence. It should not be surprising that one of the great goals of the new school construction is the enhancement of student safety.  In the construction of the new Sandy Hook School, following massacre by an assassin four years ago in the original building, new subtle safety buffers have now been brought in against the possibility of any direct assault in the future. A constructed rain garden into at the school, for example, complicates the possibility of assaulting the school in the same kind of manner of the 2012 attack.

In Southern California, the new safety issue of the way schools are built was highlighted when it was discovered the same Isis-inspired terrorist group who created a slaughterhouse of a San Bernardino county office party had earlier stalked a local public school for a possibly even greater murder.  What is particularly important to understand is the pledge of Isis to create the most hurtful crime possible against Americans, in an attempt by Isis to break our spirit by breaking our hearts.

As someone who teaches in public schools I have noticed that even very young students – who may not really care that much if it was either George Washington or Abraham Lincoln who supposedly chopped down a cherry and then manned up to his father – yes, even these students are very current about the terrorism against schools since the Columbine assault in 1999.

During one of my days at a high school in Riverside County a couple of years ago, there was a real lockdown at a school and a classroom that was practically enclosed in glass, particularly in the classroom that I was managing – a glass door as well as glass walls.

We followed all the instructions of locking the doors and turning the lights out while the lockdown was going on, but all that didn’t make the students feel particularly safe.  All we knew is that we were experiencing a real lockdown, and as always, there was no word about what triggered it.   Large concerns and smaller concerns get the same treatment with all school lockdowns.

Read more here: A Sharp View:  Here come the bigger, sturdier schools of the future