School safety has come under intense scrutiny lately, with the rise of many horrifying school shootings. Suggestions abound- Arm the teachers! Increase mental health services! Strengthen gun laws to regulate gun access! Parents, students, and teachers are rightly demanding that schools return to being places of learning and sanctuary in their communities. Many options are being examined, but schools need immediate action right now to keep their campuses safe. So is a security guard for schools the right option? Let’s dive into this topic.
So what are the proven ways to keep students and staff safe?
There are certain basic security factors that need to be implemented in all schools:
1. Install A CCTV System
CCTV monitoring of school premises enhances campus safety by providing constant surveillance and deterrence against potential threats. The presence of cameras across the campus acts as a powerful deterrent, discouraging trespassers, vandals, and unauthorized individuals. Real-time monitoring allows swift identification of any security breaches, enabling immediate response and intervention, ultimately creating a secure learning environment.
2. Outfit GPS And CCTV Systems On All School Busses
Equipping school buses with GPS allows school management to track children’s travels, ensuring their safe transportation to and from school. Additionally, installing CCTV cameras on board buses adds an extra layer of safety, providing real-time monitoring of student activities and ensuring proper conduct. This comprehensive approach enhances child safety during their daily commutes, promoting a secure and worry-free environment for students and parents alike.
3. Perform Thorough Verification On All Potential Employees
Thorough verification of all staff, including non-teaching personnel, before hiring is crucial to keeping kids safe at school. Background checks and rigorous screening processes help identify potential risks or individuals with questionable backgrounds. This ensures that only trustworthy and qualified individuals are entrusted with the safety and well-being of students, fostering a secure and nurturing educational environment.
4. Monitor All Visitors
Monitoring visitors carefully when entering or leaving the school premises, including verifying authorization to pick up students, is essential for ensuring kids’ safety at school. This precautionary measure prevents unauthorized individuals from gaining access to students and minimizes the risk of potential security breaches or abduction attempts. By diligently managing visitor access, staff or security personnel can create a secure environment where students’ well-being is prioritized and protected.
5. Have Washrooms Monitored By Staff
Having attendants in the washrooms for safety monitoring enhances kids’ safety at school. Attendants can deter bullying, prevent vandalism, and address any emergency situations promptly. Additionally, providing separate washrooms for school management ensures a clear division of spaces and minimizes the risk of unauthorized access, promoting a secure and comfortable environment for all students.
6. All Unoccupied Classrooms Should Be Locked
Keeping empty or unused classrooms locked at all times ensures kids’ safety at school by preventing unauthorized access and potential incidents. By maintaining strict access control, the risk of unauthorized individuals entering the premises is minimized. Additionally, the policy of not allowing any child to be alone with staff enhances protection against potential misconduct, prioritizing students’ safety and well-being.
7. Hold Regular Workshops
Regular workshops and training sessions on safety protocols empower students, parents, and teachers to play an active role in keeping kids safe at school. By educating them on how to recognize potential threats before they occur and providing specific action plans for various situations, the school community becomes better equipped to respond effectively to emergencies. This proactive approach instills a sense of preparedness and confidence, fostering a secure and vigilant learning environment for all.
These are the minimum basics of school safety that a school can put into place. However, there is one final key ingredient needed to achieve maximum school safety.
What is the Final Key to the Highest Security?
The final key to a successful school security program is having well-trained security officers stationed at the schools.
School resource officers (SROs) who are sworn police officers, OR security officers (SSOs) from a private company, can be implemented specifically in any school community:
1. Security officers can monitor access points to the campus and verify who comes and goes.
2. Security personnel can orchestrate pedestrian and traffic safety as well as control school access.
3. Security personnel can monitor CCTV/bus cameras which exponentially increases proactive school safety.
4. Security officers of either type may be armed or unarmed, as there is still ongoing controversy surrounding the use of armed security guards at schools.
The work of any type of security officer can be customized to meet the school and community’s demands. Some schools have even utilized private security workers as paraprofessionals in special education classrooms, fostering student relationships and morale.
Private security companies such as ASAP Security must undergo whatever rigorous training is needed to enhance school safety to their client’s demands. In California, for instance, there is a mandated curriculum for any school security officers (https://www.bsis.ca.gov/industries/syllabus.shtml.) A professional security company such as ASAP Security would be specifically trained school security officers (SSOs) that would achieve the safety plan the client school establishes.
In light of the many recent violent campus events, the community consensus seems to be that security personnel are indeed vitally needed to maintain school safety. Still, there is ongoing debate in the school security industry on how to best use security officers at schools. School communities differ on what type of school security officers they want and how they should be used.
Should schools utilize private security officers (SSOs) or police security officers (SROs)? Or some combination thereof? And should the guards be armed or unarmed?
These are the questions that must be resolved to implement each school campus’ best safety plans. This is where a professional security company such as ASAP Security would play a key role and could be the most effective and affordable security for a school community.
School Security Officers (SSOs) or School Resource Officers (SROs)?
School Security Officers (SSOs) are private security workers from security companies (such as ASAP Security). School Resource Officers (SROs) are sworn police officers, members of the local police department, in police uniform, usually armed. Some school districts
have opted to move police officers out of their schools, fearing the backlash from police violence issues (Goldstein, 2021).
Those schools opt instead for privately trained security officers (SSOs), trained in laws and liabilities, student behavior dynamics, and conflict resolution with special emphasis on de-escalation techniques. SSOs do not have the same stigma as police officers, but they can still provide most of the security functions necessary for school safety.
Schools must also decide if they want armed or unarmed SSOs or SROs in their school.
Using armed guards can increase the feeling of security on campus and deter unwanted activity. However, the use of armed security guards- either SSOs or SROs- raises concerns about their detrimental effects on morale, or if having weapons truly does prevent school violence.
Statistically, it is shown that the likelihood of someone being injured when an armed guard is present is 4 times higher. (Joffe, 2022)
If armed guards are used, can lethal force be a gun, a taser, or pepper spray instead? These are variables that any school must address. As stated previously, concerns about Armed SROs on campus have risen in the light of police violence issues. Some schools have also decided against using armed police officers for their school safety plans, desiring to maintain a less-charged atmosphere on their campuses. Uniformed, armed police on campus may have an unwanted impact, especially on minority students. In addition, how the SROs are paid can be a complicated and political issue- while there are federal grants and funding available for SROs, there are still arguments over expenses coming out of the school system’s budgets as well (Starr, 2018).
“For all the benefits of having armed officers in schools, things can and often do go wrong, too.” Joshua P. Starr, former school superintendent
Don’t Leave Your Campus Unprotected
A professional security company such as ASAP Security can help a school establish the exact safety protocols that the school staff and community desire. SSOs from ASAP Security will work with the school client and tailor security plans to whatever the school community decides works. It will be the best security plan, at the most affordable price.
ASAP Security has been a trusted security business in San Diego County, Riverside County, Orange County, and surrounding areas.
areas, protecting businesses, gated communities, malls, banks, and special events, and providing personal security for VIPs. Our professionally trained security force is background checked and vetted, many of them with experience in the military or police as well.
ASAP Security can send vehicle patrols, mobile bike patrols, or foot patrols to secure your school. ASAP Security will keep property boundaries secure and check who enters or leaves the premises, and monitor CCTV cameras for problems. ASAP Security offers trained armed or unarmed protection, scheduled or unscheduled patrols- even 24/7, day or night, weekends or holidays.
ASAP Security will provide positive community interactions to employees and students, and establish a reassuring and orderly safety presence on any school campus. ASAP Security guards and staff will provide responsive customer service to your school community.
Just take a look at our website, or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read some informative customer testimonials from our satisfied customers.
Let ASAP Security provide their best professional agents for your San Diego area school or campus- armed or unarmed, uniformed or undercover, in vehicles, on bicycles, or on foot. We are available night or day, with 24/7 service.