For today’s parents and school administrators, school safety is the only issue on par with academic achievement. The attacks at Columbine and Sandy Hook, followed by more violence in educational institutions nationwide, have left educators, administrators, and parents worried about how safe a school campus can be, even with excellent organization and security planning.
With the onslaught of violent incidents, parents and administrators need to work together to develop school security strategies and consult security professionals to establish the best security practices for an educational institute. Parental volunteering can also make a difference in supporting the efforts of administrators and local law enforcement.
Security Begins at Home
Good school security begins at home. Parents who own firearms or other weapons must keep them secured in an appropriate safe located within the home. If a firearm goes missing or is lost or misplaced, this should be reported immediately to local authorities. That’s not to say your child has removed it, but if schoolmates frequent your home, this may be possible.
Parents must keep communication open with children and not hesitate to speak about security issues. A child behaving abnormally can be a warning sign of a severe problem. Parents also need to be aware of what to do if atypical behavior begins and where to find support for their child. Schoolyard’s conflicts need to be resolved positively without violence being involved.
Parents also need to help children grasp the importance of their safety. While reassuring kids that schools are generally very safe places, children need to be made aware of inappropriate behavior, including threats, bullying, and aggressiveness, whether on the part of schoolmates, adults, or strangers. If schools have places that make your child feel unsafe or insecure, it’s essential that school administrators are informed and a solution is found.
School Security Strategies and Tools
School administrators can begin by having an evaluation of school premises by security experts and local law enforcement, and a law enforcement resource officer should be appointed. However, the most significant assistance in keeping students and staff safe can come from security technology. New technological advancements now offer a wide array of security tools that can be introduced onto school premises without creating an atmosphere of fear.
Schools must maintain a welcoming atmosphere yet guarantee safety. Smart lock installation can prevent unauthorized entries and permit accessible exits in an emergency. Modern access control allows students, teachers, parents, staff, visitors, services, and deliveries onto school property. A log is kept of who enters, why, and when, together with exits. Key cards, fobs, badges, and digital credentials can be introduced, granting access to a specific area. An electronic access control system and software permit administrators to revoke electronic credentials in seconds if necessary. Intelligent school access systems can cross-reference identities with sex offender registries or others quickly and efficiently.
School Security Cameras and Video Monitoring
School CCTV cameras offer more outstanding monitoring capabilities by integrating cameras or CCTVs. They can be connected to access control management recognition purposes together with the detection of suspicious objects or movements when paired with AI software. Congregation points such as libraries, cafeterias, gymnasiums, and hallways can be monitored for security threats. Security cameras can record and log the times of entrances and exit from school premises and scan visitor identification.
Alert, Alarm, and Lockdown Systems
Integrated IoT-connected alarm systems facilitate rapid responses to potential threats. These systems can trigger an automated lockdown and partner with local authorities and emergency responders, allowing immediate intervention. Authorized personnel will benefit from locked-down facility access thanks to digital ID scanning.
Security is not limited to buildings. The perimeters of school premises need to be secured, too. Together with video monitoring, schools can introduce smart lighting with sensors that illuminate the school premises to prevent break-ins and vandalism.
Schools can introduce mobile panic buttons that staff and teachers can wear. Panic alarms can also be installed in specific school locations. In an emergency, the wearer can push the button to alert administrators and law enforcement that there is a problem. Some panic buttons may have microphone amplification to be used as a temporary announcement tool.
Schools can integrate an email address, apps, or even a telephone number, allowing anyone to anonymously report potential threats such as bullying or physical and verbal abuse.
Dedicated security personnel for monitoring and immediate intervention in an emergency are crucial to general security.
Joining Forces for School Security
Administrators and parents must cooperate as soon as a child is registered to attend school. Parents are the primary information givers of the students who will be attending. Schools also need to program regular security events that include local law enforcement throughout the school year to keep parents in the loop and maintain an ongoing dialogue. Volunteer opportunities for parents can also increase safety, monitoring, and security support during school activities.
School administrators and parents are tasked with the education and safety of the children in their care. Educational success depends on a nurturing and safe environment. Classes and activities will suffer if students and staff feel unsafe, and emotional issues may develop. Yet an atmosphere conducive to learning is essential to academic success, so a prison-like environment is to be avoided. This is where technology can make a difference. Security tools and procedures can be implemented without creating a restrictive environment, and continuing dialogue between administrators and parents can contribute to a positive and safe learning situation.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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