Over the past decade or so, there has been a great deal of focus on school security, with national headlines being made when security has proved inadequate. While it’s doubtful if even the most stringent measures can prevent all security breaches, it is still extremely important that steps be taken to make school premises as secure as possible. Here are some recommendations for how that can be achieved.
Position security cameras at critical points
The ‘critical points’ referred to are all main entrances and exits, as well as perimeters and common areas frequented by students. In addition to these primary points, there are other vulnerable areas such as parking lots, libraries, computer labs, hallways, cafeterias, auditoriums, playgrounds, and athletic fields. Just as important, the feeds from these cameras need to be monitored, so that suspicious activity can be detected.
Another good security step which schools can take is to require identification of all visitors on the premises. When such visits are planned well ahead of time, background checks can be run so that the likelihood of criminal activity is significantly reduced.
Install a comprehensive video security system
An obvious video surveillance system can serve as a powerful deterrent to criminal activity, and can discourage would be attackers from planning such activities. If activity can be discovers before it even starts, the surveillance system will be well worth the investment.
Pay attention to red flags
In almost all cases before any kind of attack has been carried out on school premises, there were warning signs from the individual involved. When students, teachers, or family members are made aware of these red flags, they need to be reported to authorities, so that an intervention can take place.
Secure the classrooms
In the event of any kind of attack against school, it is highly likely that the majority of students will be in classrooms at the time. This being the case, it is essential that classrooms can be made secure, first by having lockable doors using temporary door barricades like Nightlock Lockdown, and second by having windows which can be blacked out from attacker. Campus Safety Shades are a great way to quickly deploy a vision blocking shade.
Don’t choose a surveillance system based on cost
All schools are subject to budget constraints, which are generally voted on by parents and the school district. Almost all parents would be glad to vote for a budget which included high-quality surveillance system, since it would provide greater protection for their children.
Establish an emergency plan
One of the most important components of security preparedness is having a plan for emergencies. School teachers and administrators should be trained in what to do in the event of an emergency, and all plans should be coordinated with local authorities and fire departments.
Include mobile surveillance
It’s a good idea to include mobile surveillance in your overall security plan, so that buses and drivers can be monitored where students are being transported to and from school. This will not only improve student safety, but it will also provide real-time information about bus locations.
Install door access controls
Door access controls are great for preventing unauthorized access in your school. Centralized management allows for another security layer, and the ease of installation allows flexibility in additions or subtractions from the system.
Plan for on-site response
It is known that attacks carried out against schools are generally completely played out within the space of five minutes, and that means it’s necessary for your school to have an on-site response plan. This can be either in the form of dedicated security personnel at school entrances, or possibly by having armed staff members. This may sound like a drastic step, but the consequences of ignoring it can also be drastic.