School Security: The Latest News

School security the latest news

Last week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) spoke to a group of community leaders in Danville, Kentucky. The subject was school security and what could be done to stop the recent spree of shootings.

“I don’t think at the federal level there’s much that we can do other than appropriate funds,” McConnell said. But he added that those funds could be sent back to the states for the purpose of improving school security, something he believes each district should direct.

His comments come six months after two Kentucky students were shot and killed at Marshall County High School. Just a few weeks later, 14 students lost their lives in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“It’s a darn shame that’s where we are but this epidemic is something that’s got all of our attention. And I know it’s got the attention of every school superintendent in the country.”

So what is happening around the country to improve school security? Here is a brief look.

Texas

Last month, Texas lawmakers were considering legislation that would arm more teachers and staff members. However, this move was met with resistance from parents and teachers who wanted to keep guns out of the school buildings.

While the legislature considered new laws, Governor Greg Abbott held round tables on school safety. Of the 120 people invited to the discussions, only one was a member of a school district police department.

Independent school police officers feel they should have a say in any new policies. After all, it would be their job to carry out the new policies protect.

Finally, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced that he donate metal detectors to the Santa Fe School District. The manufacturer, Garrett Metal Detectors, will also be donating the devices. Ten died in May during a school shooting in that district.

The metal detectors will be sued to fortify entryways at school buildings.

Ohio

In Butler County, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton School District has decided to allow trained school staff to carry firearms. SecurityInfoWatch.com reports that these staff members will primarily be former police or military personnel.

The school district also decided to begin using handheld metal detectors randomly on students.

Pennsylvania

While shootings are the over riding concern for the country’s school districts, it’s not the only type of violence happening in the buildings.

Philadelphia school unions demand action in June to protect school teachers and staff. There have been nearly 150 assaults on the staff by parents. “Some parents now think that it’s OK to assault the people charged with keeping their children safe,” said the president of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators.

New York

The Lockport City School district is installing 300 new surveillance cameras in ten different school buildings. They will be tied to software that, using facial recognition technology, will be able to identify criminals, sex offenders and other people who have been denied access to the building.

But according to SecurityInfoWatch.com, the New York Civil Liberties Union is moving to block the installation of this system because of privacy concerns.

School Security: The Bottom Line

Education is not the responsibility of the federal government. But D.C. does have a responsibility to protect its citizens. So sending funding back to the states for use in bolstering school security is the right move. It allows individual districts to pick and choose the security improvements they need, ultimately making each school a safer place for kids.

If you have questions about hose to improve the security at your business, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.

School Security: Measures Continue to be Adopted

school security measures are growing across the country

Questions about school security are being asked again after a shooting at a Palmdale, California school last week.

LATimes.com reports that an argument between two 14-year-old students at Highland High School escalated, leaving one shot in the arm. That student is expected to recover. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the call in significant numbers around 7:05 am and cleared the school.

The fourteen-year-old shooter has been charged with attempted murder.

School Security Measures Continue

Since the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February, districts around the country have been taking steps to make their schools safer. Here is what some districts are doing.

     Armed Teachers in Georgia Schools

In April, Laurens County Schools agreed to train teacher volunteers on how to safely carry guns on school grounds. Now, three more Georgia districts are set to vote on similar steps this month.

     New Threat Alert Phone App Being Used

The system is called In Force, and it ties the administration in schools to police dispatchers and cruisers through the app. Use of the system when there is an active shooter situation can reduce notification times to as little as 12 seconds!

According to SecurityInfoWatch.com, In Force is in use in 60 communities in Massachusetts and has a presence in another 13 or 14 states.

     Internal Security Force in Sarasota

Last month, the Sarasota County School board decided to create its own security department. This was a major shift away from a previous program that used law enforcement officers.

    PA School Safety Plans in Executive Session

A bill in the Pennsylvania legislature would allow school safety plans to be discussed away from the public, in Executive Session. The measure is meant to help school officials who struggle to come up with security procedures for students. It also gives them the opportunity to create plans without continued public scrutiny.

The Bottom Line

While districts are moving toward making their schools safer, the Highland High School shooting illustrates that we still have work to do before all of our schools are safe.

Are you looking for ways to keep your property and employees safe? Call American Security Force at 855-722-8585 to see how we can develop a customized plan to fit your security needs.

School Safety Measures After Parkland

school safety measures after Parkland

Since the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February that resulted in 17 students killed by a former student, it seems like lawmakers and education officials are beginning to take school safety measures to make them more secure.

In response to the tragedy, the Florida legislature passed a bill that would raise the minimum age for purchasing a firearm to 21-years-old. Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law on March 9.

Congress and President Trump also moved quickly with the signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. The law restores funding for school safety grants. It will supply $75 million in matching grant money for school safety infrastructure, training and technology.

Florida and the federal government are not alone in creating new school safety measures. Here is a sample of some of the changes that are being implemented around the country.

School Safety Measures

Ohio

At the end of February, the Ohio House introduced a bill that would standardize the qualifications for school resource officers. SecurityInfoWatch.com explains that the bill requires officers to have a minimum of 40 hours of training and standardizes the qualifications and the exact duties of a resource officer.

Also in Ohio, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District has implemented a new video surveillance system. The district is the second largest in the state and because of its size, it will require over 5100 cameras. They are meant to be a deterrent to vandalism and violence.

To ensure that there is never a lapse in video coverage due to failing equipment, the automated system that was installed continually checks the camera streams to ensure they are working properly. 

Illinois

A Chicago area school hired three additional security guards. Glenbrook High Schools District 225 planned to have those officers work after school when students are on the grounds participating in athletics and other programs. ChicagoTribune.com reports that the officers will protect buildings and screen people as they come and go from the campus.

Michigan

Democrats in Michigan’s State Senate introduced a number of bills intended to increase school safety. According to SecuriotyInfoWatch.com, the new laws if passed would place more controls on guns. The bills also allot a $100 million investment on school resource officers and provide for additional safety and security measures.

Texas

A Texas school district has chosen to physically fortify their buildings. The Cleveland Independent School District, located just outside of Houston, is installing doorstoppers in every classroom in the district. The barricades are meant to keep an active shooter from entering. In tests, doors equipped with the devices have withstood numerous shots from handguns and rifles.

The Bottom Line

Prior to the Parkland shooting, there seemed to be a reluctant acceptance of school shootings. No organization or legislative body took the lead on this issue, so nothing ever happened to keep these tragedies from happening.

Since Parkland, though, there seems to be new energy toward school safety. If there is anything good that could come from this tragedy, perhaps it is this new dedication to securing our schools.

If you have questions about protecting your property and employees, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.