Is the key to safer schools the latest technology, engaged students, or a combination of both?
Security in schools is an interesting and controversial issue facing administrators, parents, teachers, and students around the country. And many schools are investing significant resources into a wide array of security technology to ensure students, staff and administrators are secure on campus.
While the latest technology and infrastructure – such as controlled access to buildings, surveillance cameras, secured vestibules, and remote monitoring services – are all incredibly important, education is also a key component to keeping students and faculty members engaged in the process of keeping their school safe.
How to educate students on spotting security issues
When we think about school security, we often focus on the latest equipment and infrastructure, as well as security personnel and a well-educated staff. What is less commonly addressed is the effect that an engaged student body can have on overall security. Read on to learn how to encourage your students to be a part of a security solution.
Encourage students to report suspicious behaviors
Let’s face it, not all students are going to be willing to openly report suspicious behavior to teachers or administrators. While we would hope that they would seek help if they see another student in danger from bullying or two students arguing, this isn’t always the case. Many schools around the country are implementing procedures that allow students to anonymously report suspicious behavior. This way students can report these behaviors without feeling like they may face any form of retaliation.
As administrators and staff members, it’s important that students understand the types of behavior that should be reported and that any information that is submitted will be completely confidential.
Why does suspicious behavior go unreported?
Unfortunately, suspicious behavior often goes unreported. After several of the school shootings that have taken place in recent years, classmates reported disturbing information about the shooter after the fact. Students may notice this behavior months or even years prior to an actual incident taking place. The trouble lies with properly engaging students and getting them to come forward with this valuable information.
Why are students so reluctant to come forward? Reasons could include:
- Students may not understand the type of behavior that should be reported or how to report it.
- Students are scared of retaliation from other students.
- They don’t recognize the behavior as threatening or they don’t take it seriously enough.
- They don’t believe that school administrators will take any action based on the information they provide.
- Students are worried they’ll get in trouble.
Do your students trust your administration enough to report suspicious behavior?
According to a 2014 report from the National Center for Education Statistics, 94% of schools offered controlled access to buildings during school hours and 75% of schools use security cameras to monitor school grounds. While these are great examples of effective security measures, they can’t fully replace engaging with students to fully understand what suspicious behaviors are occurring on campus.
Engaging with students starts with trust – so that students understand any information that they provide will be taken seriously and acted upon. Building this relationship can be difficult but it’s worthwhile, especially if it leads to a reduction in threatening behavior and crime.
At POM Technologies, we’re focused on being a long-term partner with all of our education clients. We offer a wide array of technological security solutions, as well as remote monitoring services, to schools of all sizes around the country. Because of our depth of experience, we’ve helped a number of our clients with not only understanding their security equipment, but also with developing procedures that allow them to utilize it to its greatest effect.
For more information about our services, feel free to contact POM Technologies today by phone at 212-688-2767 or through our online contact form.
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