As the song says, ”the children are our future” and it is our responsibility to protect our future in every way possible. As parents, we insist our children wear seat belts in cars, wear helmets when they ride their bikes, and look both ways before crossing roads. We teach them to not talk to strangers, in person or online, and we show them through our daily actions that their safety and security is our priority.
This need for safety does not stop when we hand our children off to their school. They spend the majority of their day on a school campus. This is one place they should feel the most secure. If our children are concerned about bullies or drugs or shooters in their schools, then they are not going to receive the education they require. To give our children the best chance at a future, we must provide them with a safe place to learn.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics recent 2019 Crime and Safety Surveys report, crime in schools has actually decreased in the last decades. For example, in the 2014-15 school year, there were 47 student, staff or other non-student school associated deaths. One year later, the survey shows that number has decreased to 38 school associated deaths.
This sounds like good news, and considering the number of students and staff in our schools daily, the percentage of deaths is extremely low. However, if you are the family member of one of those 38 people, the percentages don’t matter. Thirty-eight is too many.
According to the same study, 6% of students reported being threatened with a weapon on campus in 2017. 20% reported being bullied. And in 2015, 3% of student reported being afraid they would be attacked while on school grounds. Download our infographic: The Importance of School Safety.
So how do we fix the problem? How do we ensure our children and teachers and school staff are safe every time they enter the school grounds?
Better security education and implementation measures are needed to protect our schools. The Crime and Safety Survey shows that schools are adopting these advanced security measures at an overwhelming rate. In the 99-2000 school year, only 19% of public schools reported use of security cameras on campus. In 2015-16, that number had increased to 81% of public schools.
Schools are also increasing their security measures in other areas. Use of access control systems for doors and entryways also increased during this time period from 75% to 94%. From 03-04 to 15-16, the number of schools with an active shooter plan increased from 79% to 92%.
Campus Safety Magazine recently surveyed 600 school or healthcare campuses regarding their use of video surveillance in their security plans. Of the respondents, 96% said they already have video security cameras installed on campus and 66% of those plan to deploy more or upgrade their systems in the next 3 years.
This increased adoption of security technology is one of the reasons overall crime in schools has gone down. Considering the benefits of security cameras as deterrents against crime and as an investigative tool after the crime, the cost of not having a video surveillance system in our schools is too great. When combined with controlled access entryways, active shooter plans, written policies and procedures for safety education and crime avoidance, and an increased staff presence in public areas, we can make our schools as safe as possible for our children and teachers.
We owe it to the future of our country to protect them and provide them with a safe place to learn and grow.
If your school is interested in learning more about video surveillance and controlled access options, please contact one of our experts today.