School violence is increasing and parents and teachers are asking themselves if their school is secure. There are many steps that schools can take to reduce the risks of becoming the target of violence. The following security steps should be considered to minimize the risks of school violence.
Access Points Secured
Schools must limit entry into the school building during school hours. School doors should be locked and inaccessible at all times. Some schools secure their doors during certain hours. All entry points including loading docks, doors and windows should be monitored and included in the security plan. Community activities that are held at the school should also have access points secured during the event.
Security Surveillance Cameras
Security surveillance cameras should be used to monitor school hallways, classrooms and cafeterias. They should also include parking lots, playgrounds and the perimeter of the school. Real-time security camera monitoring stations should be actively monitored at all times. A professional security company should be contacted to provide a security audit. Trained security professionals will walk the school grounds and determine if security deficiencies exist. Security cameras and fire systems should be routinely tested and evaluated.
Unsecured firearms in the home can present a danger to children and other students. Firearms should always be locked in a secure gun cabinet or safe. Students and small children should never be able to gain access to their parent’s firearms. Parents are responsible for gun safety control in their homes. Parents should also talk to their children about firearm safety and the reasons for control. Studies find that half of American households contain firearms and in many cases, they are not stored securely.
Anonymous Reporting Systems
Many schools use a suggestion box, student hot lines or “tell an adult” programs for their students. This is a great idea because it keeps the lines of communication open between students and teachers. This system can also be used for school safety. Students are more likely to report incidents if they can remain anonymous. These reporting systems are also helpful for bullying, student fighting and other security concerns. Risk and threat assessment programs should also be in place.
In Bethal, Alaska in 1999, Evan Ramsey told many of his classmates what he was planning. No student reported the incident to an adult. Evan was asked later what he would have said if the principal would have asked him about it. He said, “He would have told the truth.” Anonymous reporting systems in this situation may have made a difference.
Metal detectors are useful because they can prevent a student or visitor from bringing a weapon into the school. Unsecured firearms in the home can prompt students to bring a firearm into their school to show their classmates. Metal detectors are useful to prevent this type of risk that could lead to violence.
Everyone can play a role in reducing the risk of violence at schools. Schools should be a safe environment where students learn, grow and make new friends. The risk of school violence can be reduced by adding additional elements of security to what is thought to already be a good security plan. Contact us today to receive further information.
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This post was written by Damon Delcoro