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Educational Institution Security

Ideally, all schools should be safe havens ensuring absolute security and the best violence-free grounds for students to benefit from quality teaching experiences. Any trace of violent behavior or criminal acts on the school grounds will not solely affect the children or teens directly involved in the acts, but they will also lead to disruptions in the overall educational processes while causing stress and disbelief in the local communities and the respective schools.  The increasing rates of fatal incidents, including mass shootings and terror attacks targeting schools in the US in recent years, have showcased the critical need to adopt improved security solutions in these educational institutions. The need to establish trustworthy school crime indicators that are monitored, updated, and assessed periodically is irrefutable when it comes to making sure the nation's students are kept safe. Commercial-grade school locks, alarm systems, and monitoring tools are a few of the main solutions needed to offer continuous surveillance, strengthened physical protection, and the rapid detection of abnormal or potentially worrisome behaviors in students or visitors in kindergartens, schools, and colleges across the country.  Below you will find some essential information on the matter of educational security in American schools.

Educational Security In The U.S. | Physical Securityschool security

Educational security should incorporate the entire range of physical protection solutions during ongoing incidents with potentially dangerous repercussions on students and school personnel. The sad reality nurtured by the numerous mass shooting incidents recorded in the country during the last decade has turned the US into the number one beneficiary in terms of school and campus security technology. Nonetheless, American schools and campus grounds continue to look for new ways to reinforce and deploy more efficient solutions, even though many of them continue to be low-tech and leave lots of room for improvement.

Ranging from access control systems that rely on access cards, electronic keys, or master lock and key systems implemented by commercial locksmiths that specialize in educational institutions, there is an important number of alternatives to consider. Video surveillance cameras, along with school screening and metal detector systems, advanced on-campus and school communication systems, plus threat alerts are also practices preferred by lots of schools to promote the security of school faculty members, students, and school staff.

The Importance of the School Survey on Crime and Safety

The School Survey on Crime and Safety is a cross-sectional survey that gathers data from more than 4,800 American schools, both elementary and secondary. The main purpose of this survey is to gather, analyze, and use critical data regarding the level of school crime and safety, with the collaboration of the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. The survey is meant to collect school safety data as well as information regarding the implemented security practices with the help of principals managing public schools. Some of the elements part of this survey refer to the type of security procedures in use, the existence of any written safety protocols necessary to respond to scenarios, including student-oriented emergency drills.

Other important aspects studied by the same SCOCS survey include data regarding the involvement of parents as well as the local community in the implementation of better education security technologies, along with the practices used by the school security personnel, the existence of any sort of obstacles or issues in the matter of crime prevention, or any disciplinary actions.

The same survey gathers data that refers to the existence of trained school security personnel as well as the existence of planned training sessions for teachers and aides in regards to school security. In recent years, more than 95 percent of all public schools in the US have reported the use of good access control practices with the help of:

  • door locking and monitoring procedures during school hours
  • the use of monitoring cameras for keeping an eye on the building and campus
  • school staff, faculty members, and students wearing identification badges, picture Ids, wearing school uniforms
  • the enforcement of stricter dress codes
  • random drug and weapon sweeps and metal detector checkups

Different School Characteristics Ask For Different Security Solutions

Private and public schools have decided to adopt custom security protocol systems suitable to their exact needs and particularities.

Limited Door Access: Locks & Panic Bars

All schools are strongly advised to maintain all access doors and entrances that are not monitored in the locked position, so they can better limit any unauthorized access to the building. With the help of commercial-grade school door locks, biometric locks, master locks, or panic bars and panic doors, the access of visitors can be significantly restricted. There is also a need to employ a larger number of security guards so that all visitors can go through physical searches prior to being allowed access on the school grounds or on campus.

Better Safe Than Sorry: The Use of Walk-through Metal Detectors

All school entrances should also be endowed with walk-through metal detectors controlled by manned by expert security guards who are fully trained and experienced to use them. School managers should also plan and implement periodical random screenings of weapons.

Hiring Private Security Guards and Expert School Locksmiths

The existence of private security guards, along with locksmiths that specialize in educational security who can work together with the local authorities are also good ideas. All these experts are extremely valuable as they can offer high levels of security while conducting researches, investigating those students responsible for having committed various crimes on school grounds, or patrolling the building and/or campus. Security guards are trained to quickly spot any type of suspicious activity and they can assist law enforcement officials with counteracting any potential criminal acts.  Violence prevention programs along with cyberattack prevention solutions to prevent the theft of school staff, student, or faculty data are additional school security solutions worth implementing for their incredible crime-preventing potential.