Lauren Book examines Israel’s school hardening solutions

Lauren Book
"Threat assessment is very different here."

A bipartisan delegation of Florida legislators toured an Israeli school Monday, searching for insights on how to best harden schools against tragedy.

Democrat state Sen. Lauren Book, a leader in her caucus, was joined by two prominent Republicans in their own rights: Reps. Chris Sprowls and Randy Fine.

Book, who previewed this engagement last week with Florida Politics, spoke at great lengths about what she saw at an Israeli school Monday.

“Threat assessment is very different here,” Book said, “as well as the way they talk to kids about safety.”

“Three- and four-year-olds know how to access a bomb shelter. That is a part of life here,” Book added, analogizing it to some of what’s happening in the states with active assailant drills.

“It’s a very interesting dynamic,” Book said.

Book noted that there is one point of entry at school, with staffers reinforcing each other and ensuring that gaps aren’t present. Fine later reinforced this as a positive.

“Two exits, but one point of entry. They are broken down into regions,” Book said, with someone at the gate and roving security as a backup.

“Highly coordinated, which we’ve seen back home as a big gap,” Book added. “We have a lot of siloed communication.”

“Security visibly was armed,” Book said. “Those threats here are external, not internal.”

Israelis are more concerned by terrorists causing harm than children turning against their own school, Book said.

“They were not concerned about [backpacks],” Book said. “A lot of those security guards are in their fifties and sixties, with years of experience.”

Book noted that mental health providers help to preclude kids going rogue, and if necessary, they have alternative pathways.

“There’s a lot we can take back,” Book said.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Fed Up

    May 27, 2019 at 7:44 am

    The bomb shelters in the schools are there to protect people from missiles fired from Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria, not to protect the students from demented white Americans with access to military grade weapons. Bomb shelters exist in most commercial building and in many Jewish homes. The COUNTRY is hardened, not just the schools.

    If you want to take something back to the states recognize how difficult is for anyone not connected to the military or law enforcement to get guns in Israel!

  • Pedro

    May 27, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Yes please look at their gun ownership laws and the provision of mental health that is provided to students. We are not in a constant state of war and we should never want to be that way. Lets take the military style weapons away from wannabee Rambo’s or militiamen. We have a well regulated army, we don’t need yahoo’s associating manhood with firepower! The NRA needs to go back to being a gun safety organization, otherwise revoke their non-profit status.

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