Donations to schools to pay for security system updates has increased due to the level of violence in recent school shootings. School districts are forced to reevaluate their school’s security systems in order to keep children safe. School security systems should include CCTV surveillance cameras, armed security guards or police and limiting access into the school buildings during classes. Improving school security can be a community project.
Security Plan Development
Ensuring your schools safety requires analyzing and developing a solid security plan. This plan should include developing an emergency response team. The emergency response team should meet regularly and participate in practice drills. These practice drills will ensure the entire team understands their individual responsibilities during an emergency. Emergency situations can include weather events, school violence situations and threats of violence against the school.
Threats of violence should always be taken seriously, and procedures should be in place to treat the threat as a real event. Team members should meet frequently to change and improve the overall security plan. Develop the security plan as further donations and budgets allow for improvements. Work with local police departments to develop a plan for different kinds of security threats. School faculty, students and staff should know how to respond and who to contact during any kind of emergency.
School Access Should be Limited
Many schools have a visitor policy that requires visitors to sign in at the school upon arrival. These methods control the amount of visitor traffic found inside the building. Controlling access will improve the security plan. CCTV surveillance cameras should be installed at the entrances of all schools. Real-time monitoring can prevent unauthorized people from entering the school buildings. Parking lots, playgrounds and other common areas where students meet should also be monitored. CCTV surveillance cameras should also be installed in the school hallways. Key cards and locks can be used to limit access into the school.
Parents and other visitors should not be able to gain entry unless they are buzzed in by the office. CCTV surveillance cameras can show a clear image of the person at the entrance. This can allow staff to determine whether they want to approve access. They also have an intercom system that allows for a two-way conversation. This way visitors can announce the reason for their visit. After school activities on campus should also have controlled access. Limiting the number of people into the school will create a safer environment for everyone.
Improve Security With Community Involvement
Allowing the community to contribute to developing improvements in the security system is a great way to get new ideas. Community involvement brings everyone closer and the open lines of communication can improve relations. Everyone wants a safer environment for children when they are at school. Consider holding community meetings on a regular basis and ask for feedback and suggestions. Developing a security plan with the community is a great way to bring communities closer.
Security alarms should be installed at all entrances into the buildings. They should also be installed on windows and include panic buttons located throughout the school. Emergency panic buttons could be placed in every classroom if your budget allows. Audible security alarms are very effective in preventing burglary when the school is closed. The common points of entry into school buildings are the doors and windows. Protecting these areas will minimize the chance of theft.
Security cameras are a good tool for monitoring students, visitors and activities within the school. They should be installed to monitor areas of the school where students often gather. Wireless security cameras can be placed throughout the school because they don’t need to be wired to a phone system. The images they produce can be monitored from any camera. Use wired CCTV cameras in areas of concern. They produce quality images and can be routed through the phone system or police department. CCTV security cameras produce quality images and are extremely reliable.
The images they produce must be monitored through a closed circuit system. Most schools use CCTV security cameras to monitor lunchrooms, hallways and parking lots. CCTV cameras can also produce images through motion detecting devices installed inside them. This means that when the camera senses movement, it starts recording. This type of security camera can be used to protect the outside area of the school. They are especially helpful for nighttime recording in low-light situations.
There are a variety of security cameras that are perfect for recording when close-up images need to be clear. This type of camera is often used to monitor visitor traffic at the school’s entrance. A security camera that produces clear images allows the office staff to easily recognize the person at the front door of the school. A variety of types of cameras can be used to produce good results.
Hire a Security Auditor
Security auditors are experienced professionals who know what to look for when it comes to protecting lives and property. A security auditor will give you a full report on areas of the school that needs security improvements. You can also seek the advice of your local police department who may be willing to perform a security audit. Communication with the local police department is a great way to learn about crime in the school’s neighborhood. Seek advice and guidance from your local police department when developing a security plan.
Metal detectors are a great tool to use to limit potentially harmful weapons from entering the school buildings. Many high schools use them because high school students are more likely to bring weapons to school. Some high schools also use drug dogs to regularly inspect lockers and other areas for illegal drugs. Illegal drug use in high school has risen dramatically in the last decade. Drugs can alter the way students behave and think. They can also make them more aggressive and combative.
Police Officers In Schools
Many schools have police officers assigned to their school on a full-time basis. These officers are trained in violence control and crime detection. The presence of police officers make students, staff and faculty members feel safer. Some schools simply cannot afford to hire police officers. With a rise in donations, many schools are now considering hiring full-time police officers. This can reduce the amount of crime at school. You can also use a security guard company to provide security. Security guards are also trained in preventing crime but they do not cost as much as police officers. If your school does not have police officers and security guards, consider bringing the subject up in the next school board meeting.
Teaching students the importance of security will help them get involved in crime watch meetings or security system development. The input that students can provide is a valuable tool for improving school security. Many students know about potential threats long before police officers or a member of school faculty does. Opening up these lines of communication can enhance your security plan. The invent of social media has caused some security problems including bullying issues. Bullying has increased through social media because most high school students have access to social media through smartphones and the computer. Students are often not supervised when they log on to these types of media found on the Internet.
This gives a bully the opportunity to threaten a student. Encourage students to report threats and take them seriously. You could develop a school brochure that focuses on problems caused by social media sites. Encourage parents to monitor their child’s computer activities. Incidents of bullying should be reported immediately to a parent, law enforcement or school staff. Develop a safe reporting system for students to report threats anonymously. You can also develop programs that encourage students to report incidents through a hotline.
Electronic Notification Systems
Electronic notification systems are a great tool for sending emergency information to a vast number of students and parents. These notifications can be used for any emergency including weather emergencies and violent situations. Keeping parents and students informed will open up the lines of communication. An electronic notification system can also be used to communicate school events, cancellations and important reminders. Some schools are using a smartphone app to communicate with parents and students.
Training Faculty Members
Developing a security plan should include training faculty members on how to best respond to an emergency situation. Training should include different possible emergency scenarios to prepare everyone for the event of an emergency. Emergency preparedness results in a safer environment. Faculty members should know how to respond and who to notify in case of an emergency. They should also be trained in basic first aid, CPR and methods to reduce chaos in an emergency situation. You can notify your local law enforcement agency for help in training. Controlled chaos results in less injuries and stress. Students should be taught where to find emergency exits and when to use them.
Visitor ID Cards
Schools should develop a plan to accommodate visitors in a safe environment. Requiring ID cards for all school visitors will ensure that school faculty and staff understand who should or shouldn’t be in the building. If someone is roaming the halls without an ID card, they should be reported immediately. Visitor ID cards is the best way to determine if a person’s visit is legitimate or not. A sheet should also be provided for visitors to record their name, time and reason for visiting. If someone does not return to the office in a timely manner, then security can be notified.
Create a Student Advisory Board
A student advisory board offers helpful information to school faculty and staff that can improve a security plan. Students often have a different perspective than adults and their input can be valuable. Student advisory boards can also be a great way for students to feel they are contributing positively towards improving the security plans. This can lead to important information that faculty or staff may overlook. Advisory boards can also lead to opening up communication lines between students and law enforcement. When students are encouraged to participate in protecting their school, it creates a positive environment for everyone. Student advisory boards can also be used as a tool to create student security education programs. When students are informed and involved in creating a safer environment, it makes them feel better about contributing valuable information.
How Parents Can Help
Parents can talk to their children about school and whether or not someone is bothering them. It is important that children are made to feel safe at school. School should create wonderful memories and not nightmares. Parents can be sure their students get enough sleep and monitor their online activities. Getting involved in school matters and being proactive will send your children a powerful message. Let your children know it is never okay for someone to bully them. Bullying creates a low self-image and can result in a loss of enthusiasm for school. If your child does not like school, talk to them and find out why. There may be a good reason and it is important to get to the answer quickly.
Where To Learn More
There are many nonprofit and government organizations dedicated to developing better security systems for schools. You can research these organizations to learn more about school security issues. School security is an important topic because everyone wants schools to become safer. The recent tragedies in schools have brought a new awareness about the importance of school security. Children should go to school and receive a good education in a safe environment.
Nonprofit and government organizations and agencies work hard to get new laws passed regarding school safety issues. Developing better security devices and analyzing facts and figures can improve overall school safety issues. Professional security companies offer helpful security tips on their websites. Contact us today to learn as much as you can about school security and safety issues. Knowledge, development and planning are required to create a safer school environment for children to learn and grow.