Held October 20-24, 2014, America’s Safe Schools Week is an important reminder of the problem that school violence poses across the country. Following a violent campus event, the topic of education security is often prevalent in the news media and in election campaigns. However, it quickly fades from the national conversation as time passes. With Safe Schools Week, we are reminded each year that school security should always be a No. 1 priority.
However, achieving a secure campus is more complicated than it may seem. With incidents like the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Virginia Tech still burned into our national conscience, administrators and school officials across the country still struggle to find the best way to effectively secure their own facilities—and to keep students, faculty and staff safe from an unknown range of threats. To complicate matters even further, school districts everywhere are wrestling with tight budgets. How can schools prevent violence, vandalism and loss, respond quickly and effectively to emergencies, and maintain an open campus, all while staying within a reasonable budget?
One step in the right direction involves education. Throughout the annual Safe Schools Week, schools are encouraged to educate students, teachers and even parents on school violence, as well as ways in which schools can be safer and more secure. Schools across the country stage public information days, school safety workshops, non-violence pledge signings, essay contests and more, helping to further the cause of school safety in their own unique way.
The second component of school security goes deeper. At Frontier, we recognize the importance of school security protocol and technology to defend against shooters, vandalism, terrorism and other threats. The ideal solution is at least slightly different for every school, since each facility faces its own set of challenges and opportunities. But the best place to start involves talking with an experienced systems integrator that can recommend video surveillance, access control and other technology to help secure a campus—while also implementing the right emergency protocols to help protect large populations of students, faculty and staff during an incident.
It’s also important for schools to find a security solution that can be easily upgraded and expanded as needs change and technology evolves. What effectively secures a school in 2014 might be much different from what works in 2020. With the right technology, the school district won’t need to invest too much time or money to make those necessary changes.
As Safe Schools Week reminds us, education safety is one of the most significant challenges of our time. However, by keeping school security top-of-mind and seeking out powerful, scalable security technology, officials can ensure that every last student and employee is well protected and well prepared for whatever might come their way.
What do you think is the best way to secure our schools? Let us know in the space below.