Safety Tips For Schools
Recent tragedies have put a magnifying glass on schools across the country and forced teachers, educators, administrators, and members of the community to reevaluate exactly how they go about ensuring that our schools are as safe as possible. Unfortunately, there does seem to be something of a knee-jerk reaction to spend tons of money on trendy and unproven safety measures rather than actually taking the time to carefully examine each of the options in order to ensure that the schools are safe without wasting money in the process.
Just about everyone remembers tornado and fire drills from back when they were in school. These types of safety measures are in place because they have been proven to protect children. Unfortunately, these very same schools do not put the same level of attention into being prepared for security threats. Developing a comprehensive security plan will require administrators, teachers, and other members of staff to understand the responsibilities and roles that they have.
As with any other type of security measure, one put in place by a school needs to provide protection for the most valuable assets therein. By determining exactly what assets the security program is going to protect, it will be much easier to put a plan in place.
In addition to clearly identified assets that need to be protected, there should also be prioritized lists of potential threats. When it comes to a security program at a school, threats can come from either inside or outside. For example, a school would be well advised to include everyone from disgruntled members of the community to students and even staff.
One of the best ways to protect students and staff within a school is to deter offenders from posing a risk in the first place. Just like protecting one's home from burglary is best done by preventing a burglar from attempting in the first place, making sure that security measures are clearly visible can have a profound effect. Whether this means keeping dark areas well lit, making sure that guards are easily spotted, or eliminating easy access points, making it more difficult for potential offenders to cause a safety risk in the first place is of profound importance.
Delay and Response
A school should not make the mistake of thinking that locks and doors are the only factor when it comes to delay. Additionally, it has generally been accepted as a rule among experts that a response time of 2 min. or less after an incident has begun is crucial. Even in the best conditions, it may take local law enforcement as much as 15 min. to arrive. This means that having the proper response is crucial.
As stated earlier, students and staff often partake in a number of safety drills throughout the year to make sure that they are prepared for everything from fire to a natural disaster. This same type of methodology should be put into place when it comes to security threats so that everyone, not just faculty, knows how to respond in the event of an emergency. Both students and staff need to know exactly how to act, where to go, and what to do in the event that there is an emergency.
By taking the time now to put well-thought-out and thoroughly practice security measures into place, a school can greatly reduce the risk to everyone with in the building. While it may be necessary in some cases to put additional security measures in place, having a clear and well practiced security program in place may make all the difference should the unthinkable happen.