Security and School Safety Best Practices
Safety is important anywhere, but particularly in schools where hundreds of children and staff are present. Recent violent acts in schools across the world, and increasing reports of bullying, has left many students feeling vulnerable, and teachers feeling worried. Taking necessary security and safety measures has therefore become a necessity. Whether we want to admit it or not, we need to protect ourselves, our children, and those in the schools around us.
There are several steps that contribute to keeping people safe in schools. Here are some key factors to consider for security and safety best practices.
Identify Internal Threats Quickly
Identifying threats before they become a problem should be a priority in any school. Whether these, threats are internal or external, removing them as quickly as possible will ensure that students and staff remain safe.
Unfortunately, students themselves can become threats. When their psychological and emotional health deteriorates, it can lead them to taking extreme actions.
- If a student displays any of the following, it may be necessary to intervene in order to maintain the safety of the people around them.
- Dramatic mood swings or behaviour changes
- Increases in violence or aggression
- Chronic bullying of other students
- Social withdrawal or self-isolation
If any of the above is a concern, a report should be filed as soon as possible. The student should be offered help, and a plan of prevention should be put in place. This can involve offering the student counselling or therapy, either of which can be on site or away from the school.
There are also threats that come from outside of the school. Others who do not attend the school can enter the building and cause harm to students and staff. Security should be aware of those who have been a problem in the past. They need to lookout for any suspicious people who may pose a threat to the school’s safety presently and/or in the future.
Install Security Systems
Security systems include CCTV cameras and sensors. This includes walkthrough devices at entrances and exits to school buildings that can safely detect weapons in pockets, backpacks, on people, and so forth. Surveillance cameras enable security to see people entering – or exiting a building at all times. The presence of cameras alone may even deter people from doing anything threatening. As the old adage goes…”an ounce of prevention…”
Hire Security Staff or Guards
Having security staff present on site, at all times, ensures that any potential threats can be removed immediately. Schools can either work with the police to get trained officers to patrol the site, or they can privately higher security for this. Guards can be placed at entrances to the school to monitor who is coming into the school.
Training is an essential part of any health and safety protocol. Or security should be fully trained to know how to deal with potential threats. Teachers should also have some form of training when it comes to handling difficult situations or students. Education can go along way when it comes to preventing potentially home for situations.
Improve Communication Methods
Communication is key when it comes to security and safety practices. Good communication can deescalate any emergency, and time is of the essence when there is a potential threat to students and staff within the school.
Every school should have an internal communication protocol. Security should know who to contact if they see an immediate threat, such as the school management or communications teams. All security staff should have the ability to liaise with the police if necessary.
If there are safety concerns to the community outside of the school, it’s also important for security to have contact details for local public areas and the media in order to spread awareness of any potential threats or emergencies.
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