Oslo schools introduce terror alarms
All schools in Oslo are will soon have 'terror alarms' to warn pupils and teachers in the event of a serious terrorist attack or school shooting, the city's Education Department has announced.
Hovseter school is one of the first to install the new system, which includes a blinking light near the ceiling in every room and speakers that can convey messages throughout the school.
In case of an emergency, information about whether to stay where they are, move, or leave the school grounds can be transmitted to all students and staff.
"After what has happened at schools in the US, Germany, and Finland, we asked ourselves 'what can we do?'. I manage 700 people. We must have a contingency plan, and that is stronger now," Evelyn Angell Veglo, the school's headteacher, told Norway's state broadcaster NRK.
The most deadly school shootings globally include the 2004 Beslan schools siege in Russia, in which 385 people were killed, the attack on Garissa University College in Kenya in 2015 where 147 people died, and the Peshawar school attack in Pakistan in 2014 that killed 145.
Veglo says she does not want to increase fear among the pupils, but that Norway has changed since July 2011, when Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, 69 of them at a youth summer camp.
"The world is different. We have to relate to that. That's why we have had drills where we have practiced different scenarios, but without the pupils there. It is adults who need to raise the alarm in case of emergency and make the right decisions," said Veglo.
Thor Langli of the Oslo police feels that the schools will be safer with the new system.
"We hope that we never have to use it, but we have to prepare for things that may happen," Langli told NRK." It is a great advantage that warnings can go out earlier. The alarms definitely makes the schools safer."
All 180 of Oslo's elementary schools will have installed the system by 2017.