Unfortunately, students are often exposed to violence and unnecessary dangers in their own schools. And, while school shootings rightfully garner all the attention and media headlines, they represent only a tiny fraction of the different types of violence that can occur. Other types of school violence such as assaults, physical bullying, and threats are routine in many U.S. schools, and often go unnoticed. For these reasons, protecting students is a top priority, and grade school security solutions are extremely important.
Here’s why grade school security solutions are so vital:
- In 2018, 82 school shootings were reported in the U.S., the highest they’ve been since 1970.
- In 2015-16, a high percentage of middle schools reported that student bullying was observed in school at least once a week.
- According to the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSCS), in 2009-10, 1 out of every 6 public schools experienced at least one incident of a grave crime.
- Research shows that violence within the school campus is rare, and most incidents occur in the least monitored areas such as bathrooms, hallways, or stairwells.
Technologies such as alarms, cameras, sensors, metal detectors, etc., can contribute a great deal to the overall security of a school. Investment in technologically sound security solutions provides eyes and ears for students, teachers, staff, and parents.
Ways to Enhance Grade School Security
Entry Control Systems. Entry control systems make it easier to restrict access to only authorized users such as the teachers, staff members, and students. You can integrate electromagnetic doors locks that can be locked remotely. Approximately 8 out of 10 private and public schools in the U.S. have controlled access.
Visitor Management. With a visitor management system, like those offered by Hall Pass, you can track arrivals and departures of visitors, volunteers, staff, and students from a single, easy-to-use interface. Collect different information from people based on their role at sign in and sign out, and screen new visitors, contractors, and parents with background checks. You can also issue a pin code, barcode, or QR code to regular visitors for a faster sign-in process, or print customizable visitor badges and lanyards with photos.
Identification Technology. Identification technology can help in distinguishing those who have authorized access to the school from those who don’t. For identification, you can use visitor badges, palm scanners, biometric access control systems, and more. Identification technology is typically used on the school property or during a school event such as games, exhibitions, dances, etc.
Video Surveillance Technology. Video surveillance systems can be used to record comings and goings, student actions, and anything else going on in and around the school. Approximately 6 out of 10 public schools and 4 out of 10 private schools use video surveillance.
Communication Technology. Communication technology allows teachers and students to notify the school management or law enforcement about suspicious persons, incidents, and risks inside the school premises. Two-way interaction systems such as walkie-talkies, emergency communication systems, radios, and phones can be added to the grade school security systems to make them more efficient. Two-way handheld radios and intercoms are also being used extensively.
Emergency Alerts. Emergency alerts are the most important type of message a school must send — and when a crisis situation hits your school, you need technology that facilitates rapid parent notification. You also want a system that can notify emergency response services and initiate lockdown procedures automatically, like Alertus Technologies, a leader in mass notification and emergency communication (MNEC) for schools.
Alarms and Protection Systems. Emergency alarms and protection systems alert emergency responders and the school management during an attack or fire. Grade schools across the nation are using motion detectors, sound detectors, heat detectors, smoke detectors, fire alarms, and scream alarms.
Metal Detectors and X-Ray Machines. Metal detectors and X-ray machines prevent the entry of weapons into the school. Commonly used metal detectors and X-ray machines in schools are walkthrough metal detectors, hand-held metal detectors, and X-ray machines to scan bags and books at the school entrance or bus exit. About 5 in 100 public schools and 1 in 100 private schools are doing metal detector checks. About 3 in 100 public schools and 1 in 100 private schools are using walkthrough metal detectors.
All-Hazards School Safety Plan. Create an all-hazard school safety and emergency evacuation plan and update it annually. Such a plan is important for leveraging grade school security technology for responding to an emergency or addressing a violent situation. The plan should focus on the culture of the school, procedures drafted by the staff, policies related to the physical safety and well-being of the students and staff, and physical improvements of the school building or campus as required.
A Double Door System and School Lock Down. A double door system can boost security layering and screening. Moreover, it should be designed to fight tampering. The ability to lock down the school greatly increases the ability for immediate response during an active shooting situation.
Integration of Latest Technologies and Existing Grade School Security Systems. Before purchasing new technologies, the school should make sure that it can be integrated with the existing grade school security systems and upgraded in the future. This is mainly imperative for technologies that depend on data so that suitable employees are available and policies are in place to examine the available data and act on it in a timely manner.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.