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Schools are among the safest places in our communities and parents should have every confidence sending their children to these educational havens. Yet, according to Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011, (Washington DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Center for Education and Statistics 2011) in 2010, a greater number of students ages 12-18 were victims of violent crimes in the school than out of the school.
Unfortunately, school violence is a serious problem that no school can afford to ignore. Even small disturbances are not as harmless as we might like to imagine and can be indicators of bigger problems or future crisis.
However, there are measures that drastically reduce the likelihood of violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, research shows using multiple prevention strategies and levels of influence and intervention, can reduce violence and improve the school environment.
Best Ways to Improve School Safety
Since there is no way to predict a crime, and likewise no one factor that causes crime, it is imperative to use several methods to increase school safety. Your safety measures should include a combination tactical improvements, as well as measures that involve the staff, parents, students, and community. Here are some key ways you can improve school safety.
1. Start at the Personal Level
Develop programs that help students learn conflict resolution, communication, teamwork, and emotional awareness. Bridge the gaps in the teacher/staff and student relationship by developing better communication, positive engagement, and creating a more community oriented atmosphere. Improve access to school counseling.
2. Involve Parents and the Community in the Prevention of Violence
By involving parents in a well-developed crime prevention program they are more able to enforce the strategies at home and able to spot possible threats in the community. In many cases, just having an increased parental/adult presence in the school is a powerful force in preventing violence. Programs and training can also help the community deal with a crisis, should one occur.
3. Consider Tactical Improvements
Every educational institution should consider implementing the tools that will help keep students and staff safe and aid law enforcement in the event of a crisis. For example, school facilities should have a comprehensive security system that incorporates a video surveillance system. Consider a system that allows remote (such as with a smartphone) and centralized locking for the swiftest and most controlled lockdown procedures. Make sure every building is clearly labeled from all angles, including the roof. Both staff and students should be trained in emergency procedures.
About Security Instrument
At Security Instrument, we are here to answer your questions and address your concerns about school security. We’ve been proving integrated solutions for schools and campuses since 1960.