Undoubtedly, the 1999 Columbine High School attack dramatically changed the school safety landscape.
Shortly after, schools around the country increased security measures to address the growing concern. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by school districts to “harden” schools against every parent’s worst nightmare.
Today, schools face various challenges ranging from safety to cyberbullying. With so many issues affecting schools, here are the reasons why there should be more security in schools.
Top 5 Reasons Why There Should Be More Security in Schools
1. Student Safety
Schools need more security to protect students from today’s evolving safety and security threats. The goal of all security measures should be to keep students safe.
School security measures that keep this principle in mind will keep students safe and result in safer and more resilient schools.
Examples of effective school security measures include:
2. Staff Safety
More security in schools means a safer place for faculty members and school staff to teach and work.
According to the data collected in a study on school crime and safety, 10 percent of teachers from public schools reported being threatened with injury by a student from their school, and 6 percent reported being physically attacked by a student from their school.
Schools that invest in security measures and technology provide their faculty with the support they need to accomplish their job.
3. Ensure Parent’s Peace of Mind
Parents will have better peace of mind due to increased security in schools. School shootings provoke fear and discussion about school safety in communities around the country.
Parents frequently submit emails to school boards requesting additional information and changes to their school’s safety measures, security protocols, and emergency procedures.
School leaders must be prepared to communicate about safety proactively; nothing sends a more critical message than a robust security program.
4. Deter Potential Crimes on Campus
More security helps deter potential crimes on campus, and more than deploying security staff may be required.
Schools should actively adopt various crime prevention strategies to reduce the likelihood and consequence of criminal activity on their site. These strategies range from maintenance improvements to security systems and processes.
To limit the risk of violence, schools have implemented more security measures to tackle modern-day threats.
Aside from deploying security staff, installing video surveillance, security software, and other technology that may be integrated to build a comprehensive safety and security strategy is one such solution.
5. React Quickly When Safety is Threatened
Students, school psychologists, and faculty must be ready to respond promptly in a campus emergency. Even a few seconds of pause might have a significant impact.
Security systems are essential when a school’s safety is threatened because they allow administrators to change and react quickly.
As a result, schools are attempting to improve security measures to protect their children, staff, and property.
Schools must adopt security measures and procedures to ensure that school grounds are always safe.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, strong locks and security guards security are not enough to ensure excellent physical security, especially in different school characteristics.
Security cameras and video monitoring are used to regularly ensure the safety and security of students, instructors, staff, and their families.
Types of Security Systems for Schools
Several types of security systems can assist in deterring and preventing crimes in schools and universities. A tailored solution is preferred; however, security systems for schools often comprise the following features:
- Video surveillance systems: A series of carefully placed cameras in classrooms and common spaces, as well as around the perimeter of the campus, can be used in this system. A video security system in elementary schools and high schools (private and public schools) will also contain video displays, the ability to connect to authorized devices, recording equipment, or the ability to save video to cloud storage.
- Access control devices: Access control is the first line of defense, and combined with management software, administrators can control access to their buildings. Depending on the school size and need, door locks can operate with key cards, access codes, or buzzer systems.
- Alarm systems: Security alarm systems provide a line of defense against property crime, potential fatalities, severe injuries, and crushing expenses.
- Panic buttons: Discreetly place this option for school security systems in individual classrooms and set it up to trigger silent or audible alarms. These are becoming increasingly popular with the uptick in active shooter situations and other violent threats in schools.
Why We Should Have More Security in Schools?
A world where health and safety are prominent. We need more security in schools so students are safe from evolving threats and teachers can focus on delivering educational excellence.
We need more security in schools because today’s security and safety threats require an integrated approach.
The bottom line is that if the basic safety needs of students aren’t met, they become at risk of not feeling comfortable inside their schools and may stop showing up, or they may remain on edge throughout the day. Promoting school safety creates an open space for students to explore, learn, and grow.
Ultimately, everyone wants their school to be safe, and the good news is that school security technology has evolved in a much more responsive way.
Since 2016 students aged between 12-18 experienced 749,400 victimizations (theft and nonfatal violent victimization) at school and 601,300 victimizations away from school. More security means fewer incidents and more learning.
Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, schools faced a wide array of different types of violent incidents:
Types of Violent Incidents in Schools
False reports or fake attacks were the most common instances documented in the 2018-2019 school year, accounting for 18% of all incidents.
It only underlines the need for more security because security systems enable schools to detect, deter, and defend against violent incidents.
Security Technologies for School Safety
Experts urge schools to employ a balanced and rigorous approach to school safety to keep students safe from various risks and emergencies.
The following are the components of this well-balanced strategy:
- preventing non-authorized individuals from entering school buildings
- effective responding to any emergency
- vetting and approving staff and volunteers
Faculty Play an Important Role in the Security of a School
As we return to a regular school setting post-pandemic, it is imperative that students and faculty members feel safe as they walk through their school doors each morning.
In this dynamic environment, new policies will continue to evolve, and faculty members will play a significant role in school safety measures.
According to security experts, faculty members and security staff should be able to participate in drills, ask questions, and give comments based on their experiences.
In an emergency, the faculty and security staff must have the skills and knowledge about the procedures to keep the students safe.
Cost of School Security
US private and public schools now spend an estimated $2.7 billion on security features, from access control to video surveillance and ID badge software. That amount doesn’t include the additional funds spent on school building and transportation safety.
Nonetheless, the investment is worthwhile because parents’ top concerns for their children’s schools include:
- A safe and secure environment.
- Developing their children’s knowledge and abilities.
- Ensuring equal opportunity for all students.
Should School Buildings Have Security Cameras?
With safety and security challenges rising on school properties around the country, schools need security cameras more than ever. Should schools have security cameras?
Based on the National Center for Education Statistics Surveys & Programs, 80% of public schools (elementary schools and middle schools) and 94% of high schools and middle schools used security cameras in 2015-2016 during school hours.
94% have put security cameras in public areas and classrooms as an additional monitoring source to prevent the onset of violence.
Many school districts include security cameras and controlling access in classrooms in their overall security plans because they enable them to address ongoing threats effectively and practically.
Within a short time, security cameras have become one of the cornerstones of school safety and security programs, especially with monitored doors and loading docks.
While technological advancements have made security cameras an even more crucial aspect of school security, administrators should write and publish policies that explain the purpose of surveillance cameras and the boundaries for their use.
Security cameras maintain safety around the campus and discourage student misbehavior. Aside from security staff, when students know cameras are around, they are much more likely to behave well in school.
Studies have shown that cameras helped significantly reduce the threats of targeted violence and vandalism in private and public schools and buildings.
Parents Want Effective School Security Measures
Schools should be one of the safest places in the world. They should not give parents pause regarding security because they are institutions dedicated to advancing our children.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. One in every three parents in the United States is concerned about school bullying, and one in every four is concerned about school violence.
Schools Depend on Parents to Help With Security on School Grounds
Physical security technologies enable schools to maintain a strong security presence, but it takes a community to protect the school and the students.
Parents play a vital role in the security response of a school. Parents can help by learning the school’s emergency procedures and reinforcing them with their children.
Legal Considerations for School Security Cameras
Unless the school (elementary school, high school, college) has a personal policy against having cameras, legally, it is acceptable to install them.
While technological advancements have made security cameras an even more crucial aspect of school security, administrators should write and publish policies that explain the purpose and technology of school security cameras and the boundaries for their use.
How can schools get started with enhancing security?
Schools (elementary schools, high schools, and colleges) can enhance security by assessing, comprehensive plans development, allocating resources for infrastructure and training, and collaborating with professionals and law enforcement.
How important is school safety security?
It is essential because it provides a foundation for a conducive learning environment, ensuring the physical and emotional well-being of students, staff, and faculty.
Effective school security measures not only deter potential threats but also foster trust within the community. They allow students and educators to focus on education without the distraction of concerns, ultimately shaping a positive and secure educational experience for everyone involved.
Security helps prevent students from doing things not allowed on the campus. Also, it keeps the students secure; schools require integrated systems that enable them to operate safely.
Today, schools face all types of threats, including theft, kidnapping, violence, uninvited visits, sexual assault charges, and other events that readily target schools and institutions of all grades and types.
With the current rise of shootings in schools, the demand for increased security in schools has never been greater.
After implementing more security measures in schools, students will be safer, the faculty will be focused, and parents will have greater peace of mind.
By partnering with a security vendor that can deliver effective security solutions, the result will be a safer school where students can thrive academically.