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View Full Version : High school for the super wealthy - security and more



RedStringSoul
05-27-2014, 03:37 AM
The story I'm currently working on features a high society, privileged teenager who attends an elite school for children with similar backgrounds. Think kids of seriously old money, CEOs of multibillion dollar corporations, celebrities, politicians, etc.

I'm having trouble determining what the security would be like. These are kids with ties to enormous amounts of wealth who would likely have some kind of bodyguards with them (or at least tailing them) when they're out and about. I'm not sure how that would at least semi-realistically translate into a school setting.

It's set in a near future-esque Earth so I've got some wiggle room but would like to make it as plausible as possible.

ZachJPayne
05-27-2014, 03:41 AM
My dad is a commercial plumber (big buildings and stuff, not a "turd chaser" [e.g. Roto-Rooter]), and he actually worked at school like this in the LA metro area.

Security was incredibly tight. None of the plumbing or construction staff could be on-site when students were -- they worked over break, they worked before and after classes. No public would be let anywhere near the place. Everyone had to undergo a background check, and those who weren't up-to-snuff weren't allowed on-site at all.

That's what I remember from memory, I'll give the old man a phone call and see if he has anything to add.

jeseymour
05-27-2014, 03:50 AM
We live in the next town over to Phillips Exeter Academy, which certainly has its share of wealthy students. My son applied there, and we did a tour. I wouldn't say security was extraordinary. They do have their own private security force. No sign of bodyguards. It's a really small town though, don't know if a school like this in a big city might need higher security.

cornflake
05-27-2014, 03:55 AM
The story I'm currently working on features a high society, privileged teenager who attends an elite school for children with similar backgrounds. Think kids of seriously old money, CEOs of multibillion dollar corporations, celebrities, politicians, etc.

I'm having trouble determining what the security would be like. These are kids with ties to enormous amounts of wealth who would likely have some kind of bodyguards with them (or at least tailing them) when they're out and about. I'm not sure how that would at least semi-realistically translate into a school setting.

It's set in a near future-esque Earth so I've got some wiggle room but would like to make it as plausible as possible.

The idea of that school sounds somewhat odd, as, in my experience, most of those people want their kids to go to the 'best' school, not a school for them, unless we're talking about the Swiss boarding school type of deal.

I was presuming you meant a non-boarding, local situation. In which case, in my experience, they don't often have bodyguards, no, and those who do just have them along to go to/from school, but most just don't.

Security is as any top-flight school, usually a buzzer on the door, heh and sometimes a security guard. I dunno what to tell you - they're not usually large schools, here, except the few that are public, and I've never heard of any issues like you're imagining, or seen or heard of specific, different security. The public do have security guards, but they're public schools.

Avenues is big and I believe does have a couple security guards, but it's not really old-money, high-end. It's also kind of weirdly specific.

If you meant a European boarding situation, or even a domestic U.S. one, there's more security, by the nature of the place. The American ones I know of aren't over-the-top; dunno about European. I've been to one English boarding school but it wasn't a famousy-famous one so...:Shrug:

The closest thing I can think of to what you want, demographically, I'd guess, is Friends in D.C., but I'd wager their security is not particularly over-the-top, being Friends, heh.

CH Davis
05-27-2014, 05:20 AM
One thing, celebrities are not old money, but some have such an attitude of self importance, you could see them getting body guards for their kids.
I can't see a class room filled with body guards, but maybe waiting outside to escort the kids. And having lived in DC, I actually do remember kids being driven around by drivers that probably were there for protection too.
Since it's in the future, just use that wiggle room. Good luck

RedStringSoul
05-27-2014, 08:30 AM
The idea of that school sounds somewhat odd, as, in my experience, most of those people want their kids to go to the 'best' school, not a school for them, unless we're talking about the Swiss boarding school type of deal.

It was a bit of a badly worded braindump of a description. The world I'm working on has a lot of megacorp influence; this would be a school for the kids whose families are CEOs and such at these megacorps. (And of course, with cyberpunk you have megacorp espionage and all that fun stuff, hence the need for security. The school demographic is less about being "for" them so much as being one of the privileged gives you the means to get into such a school.


I was presuming you meant a non-boarding, local situation. In which case, in my experience, they don't often have bodyguards, no, and those who do just have them along to go to/from school, but most just don't.

Security is as any top-flight school, usually a buzzer on the door, heh and sometimes a security guard. I dunno what to tell you - they're not usually large schools, here, except the few that are public, and I've never heard of any issues like you're imagining, or seen or heard of specific, different security. The public do have security guards, but they're public schools.

Avenues is big and I believe does have a couple security guards, but it's not really old-money, high-end. It's also kind of weirdly specific.

If you meant a European boarding situation, or even a domestic U.S. one, there's more security, by the nature of the place. The American ones I know of aren't over-the-top; dunno about European. I've been to one English boarding school but it wasn't a famousy-famous one so...:Shrug:

The closest thing I can think of to what you want, demographically, I'd guess, is Friends in D.C., but I'd wager their security is not particularly over-the-top, being Friends, heh.

Yep, local not boarding was what I was thinking of.

I was originally thinking something along the lines of Friends but after looking up Avenues, that actually fits closer into the world that I'm imagining -- kids of high tech, high powered individuals in a fast moving, competitive environment with a tenuous grasp on the concept of humility.


One thing, celebrities are not old money, but some have such an attitude of self importance, you could see them getting body guards for their kids.
I can't see a class room filled with body guards, but maybe waiting outside to escort the kids. And having lived in DC, I actually do remember kids being driven around by drivers that probably were there for protection too.
Since it's in the future, just use that wiggle room. Good luck

Thanks!




Security was incredibly tight. None of the plumbing or construction staff could be on-site when students were -- they worked over break, they worked before and after classes. No public would be let anywhere near the place. Everyone had to undergo a background check, and those who weren't up-to-snuff weren't allowed on-site at all.


This is very helpful as part of what I was hoping for was what kind of vetting would have to happen for outsiders, thanks!

cornflake
05-27-2014, 09:38 AM
Avenues is def. 'new money,' and it's kind of the place that, well, rich ppl send their kids to if the kids can't get into the actual good schools. Obviously your world is tailored to your world, just saying.

It tried to play to the techy/travel-y niche it advertises but that's its rep, in my experience - the expensive plan C, not great. I don't think it has any particular security that other schools don't; save probably a security guard or two, but I've not been in it, just past it, and haven't actually known anyone who's gone (or had kids there).

Bing Z
05-27-2014, 03:40 PM
Download and watch "Born Rich - Documentary by Jamie Johnson" at
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/born-rich/.

Johnson himself is a heir of Johnson & Johnson.

Debbie V
05-27-2014, 10:56 PM
Post New Town. My suburban Long Island middle to upper middle class schools all have security. We have a security guard in every building with video cameras everywhere outside. You should be buzzed in and show ID upon entering any building in the district. The middle school and high school are slightly stricter because the guards recognize the moms who come and go frequently for the younger grades. Everyone signs in and is given a sticker - stickers are returned as you leave (these are the top copy which get reattached to the bottom copy.) If an incident occurs, the police will know who was in the building and will make sure each individual is accounted for.
We also have security patrols at night and guards in any open building at night for events. The district works closely with the local PD.

The biggest security risk at any current school is the risk of kidnapping by the non custodial parent. We did have an incident this year where someone approached a student and asked about his or her parents. Belief was the person was hired to kidnap a kid - of course, this is rumor still under investigation.

There has been discussion of moving the ID checkpoint outside the buildings.

Look for info on the first daughters at school. I believe everyone is checked out before hand, but the Secret Service doesn't follow them to class. They need a little privacy with their friends.

MDSchafer
05-28-2014, 04:52 PM
It's not high school, but Emma Watson sat next an armed police officer at her Brown graduation this month.

WeaselFire
05-28-2014, 07:57 PM
There are varying levels of services provided, depending on the school and students. Some high-profile students, such as those children of Washington diplomats, have very tight school security. Some students attend "normal" schools but with a bodyguard. It depends a lot on the student as well as the school.

That said, school security has gotten a lot tighter in the last decade in just US public schools, so a school such as yours could plausibly have whatever security you need to make your story work.

Jeff