Children are heading back to their classrooms this week. However, questions still remain about how safe students will truly be. While some schools have strict rules about who goes where, other schools have no security plan whatsoever. While in the past, school budgets have been tight when it came to security, now it seems like budgets may be changed to make it a priority.
According to TIME, school doors all over the country remain unlocked. In a Washington school, visitors are supposed to sign in, but the rule is hardly enforced. In Seattle school districts, IDs are not checked before visitors can see a child.
However, other schools have strict systems, enforcing names and badges at the front door which are distributed by a security guard. In Florida, visitor IDs are checked against a database of sex offenders. These IDs are also checked to make sure that a parent has not been barred against seeing a child.
Now, schools are rethinking their strategies, and organizations are trying to help. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is offering guidance to make sure that students can feel safe and concentrate on their studies above all else.
Security experts say that a few things need to happen to ensure the children’s safety. The first step is locking the doors and ensuring that a quality access control solution is in place. With access control, it would be much more difficult for an unwanted visitor to enter. Safety drills also need to be regularly practiced without warning. While many schools already practice them, most announce the drill before it takes place, allowing students and teachers to prepare.
Even without the help of student and school organizations though, AAP claims students can play a role in their own security. A program called A.L.I.C.E. (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Escape) teaches children to fight back against their attackers. While 300 schools have adopted the program, it remains to be controversial.
Students can also help to keep others secure by speaking up if they see or hear something suspicious. By teaching students that it’s not “tattle-taling,” to speak up about dangerous issues, students can potentially save lives.
While many new security measures are being discussed after such a tragic event, every school in every district must decide what is right for them. Ask Capture Technologies about our access control and security solutions. We are dedicated to making your school a safer place.