Without a doubt, the 1999 attack at the Columbine High school dramatically changed the landscape for school safety. Shortly thereafter, schools around the country increased various 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 are facing a variety of challenges ranging from safety to cyberbullying. With so many issues affecting schools, the average person may wonder why there should be more security in schools? Here are five reasons why there should be more security in schools:
1. Student Safety
Schools need more security to keep students safe 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 resilient schools. Examples of effective school security measures include:
Why we should have more security in schools?
Why we should have more security in schools? Well, let’s look at the numbers. 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. This only underlines the need for more security because security systems enable schools to detect, deter, and defend against all types of violent incidents.
Why schools need more security?
Why schools need more security has a lot to do with the new world we have enter. A world where health and safety are prominent. We need more security in schools so that students are safe from evolving threats and teachers are able to 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 at school and may stop showing up, or they may remain on edge throughout the day. Promoting school safety creates an open space for kids 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 way that is much more responsive.
Security technologies keep students safe
Experts urge that schools employ a balanced and rigorous approach to school safety in order to keep students safe from a variety of 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
2. Staff Safety
More security in schools means a safer place for faculty members to teach. According to a study on school crime and safety, 10 percent of public school teachers 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 provide their faculty with the support they need to accomplish their job.
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 continue to play a significant role in school safety measures.
According to security experts, faculty members should be able to participate in drills, ask questions, and give comments based on their experiences. In an emergency, the faculty must have the skills and knowledge to firmly lead while maintaining the freedom to make the best decisions for each situation.
Cost of School Security
US 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, the development of their children’s knowledge and abilities, and ensuring equal opportunity for all students.
3. Ensure Parent’s Peace of Mind
Parents will have better peace of mind as a result of increased security in schools. School shootings provoke fear and discussion about school safety in communities across 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 proactively communicate about school safety and nothing sends a stronger message than a strong security program.
Parents want effective school security measures
Schools should be one of the safest places in the world. They should not give parents pause in terms of security because they are institutions dedicated to the advancement of our children. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, 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
Physical security technologies enable schools to maintain a strong security presence but it takes a community to protect a school. Parents play a vital role in the security response of a school. Parents can help by learning the emergency procedures of the school and reinforcing them with their children.
4. Deter Potential Crimes on Campus
More security helps deter potential crimes on campus. Schools should actively adopt a range of crime prevention strategies to reduce the likelihood and consequence of criminal activity on their site. These strategies range from maintenance improvements, security systems and processes.
In an effort to limit the risk of violence, schools have implemented more security measures to tackle modern-day threats. Installing video surveillance, security software, and other technology that may be integrated to build a comprehensive safety and security strategy is one such solution.
Should schools have security cameras?
With safety and security challenges rising on school properties across the country, schools need security cameras more than ever. Should schools have security cameras? Well, 94% have chosen to put security cameras in public areas and classrooms as an additional monitoring source and to assist prevent the onset of violence.
Many school districts include security cameras into their overall security plans because they enable them to address ongoing threats in an effective and practical manner. Within a short period of time security cameras have become one of the cornerstones of school safety and security program.
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.
Legal considerations for school security cameras
Unless the school has a personal policy against having cameras on campus, 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 of school security cameras and the boundaries for their use.
Create safer environments for teachers and students
Security cameras do not only maintain safety around the campus but also discourage student misbehavior. When students know there are cameras around, they are much more likely to behave well in school. Studies have shown that cameras helped significantly reduce the threats of violence and vandalism.
5. React Quickly When Safety is Threatened
It’s critical that students and faculty are ready to respond promptly in the event of a campus emergency. Even a few seconds of pause might have a significant impact. When a school’s safety is threatened, security systems are essential because they allow administrators to change and react fast. As a result, schools are attempting to improve security measures in order to protect their children, staff, and property.
Schools must adopt whatever security measures and procedures are necessary to ensure that school grounds are always safe. Unfortunately, in today’s world, strong locks and security guards security are not enough to ensure great physical security. Security cameras and video monitoring are used to ensure the safety and security of students, instructors and staff, and their families on a regular basis.
Types of Security Systems for Schools
Several different types of security systems can assist deter and prevent crimes in schools and universities. Because each school is different, 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 school video security system will also contain video displays or the ability to connect to authorized devices as well as recording equipment or the ability to save video to cloud storage.
- Access control devices: Access control is the first line of the defense and combined with management software administrators are able to 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 have it set up to trigger either silent or audible alarms. These are becoming increasingly popular options with the uptick in active shooter situations and other violent threats in schools.
Security is an important aspect for every educational institution, and each school has its own set of safety requirements. To keep our students secure, schools require integrated security 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 which readily target schools and institutions of all grades and types. With the current rise of school shootings, 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 is able to deliver effective security solutions the result will be a safer school where students can thrive academically.