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.

School Security Increases After Parkland

school security guard in parking lot

This week President Trump hosted lawmakers for an hour-long discussion at the White House. The topic: School security and restricting gun sales. The conversation came as a result of the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida where 15 lost their lives.

Reuters.com reports that the President is looking for a comprehensive plan: “You have to be very, very powerful on background checks. Don’t be shy,” he said.

School Security Being Increased

Schools around the country are also toughening up their security in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

The Union Area School District in Western Pennsylvania is putting new processes in place to address how visitors enter and exit school buildings. The district is also adding new student pick-up and drop-off systems and will use metal-detecting wands periodically.

The district’s Superintendent says the Parkland tragedy has sped up their timeline.

The EveningSun.com reports that the Southwestern School District is hiring additional security guards. The board voted this week to add six more guards. Right now, the district in eastern Pennsylvania only employs one. The superintendent hopes to have at least one unarmed guard at each of their buildings.

The Miller Place Union School District on Long Island, New York has hired four armed security guards. They began working at each of their four schools this week. Each is a retired NYPD officer and will work beside the 14 other unarmed security guards already employed by the district.

Guards: Part of the Community

Increasing school security does not mean a locked-down, prison-like environment will be created. In fact, it’s been shown on multiple occasions that security guards can become integral members of a school’s community.

Consider the beloved Kifleab Tekle. He retired from the Hockaday School near Dallas, Texas in 2016. He worked there as a security guard for 30 years.

Tekle was described as being, “the heart and soul of Hockaday,” and the “Hagrid of their Hogwarts.” Students and alumni remember his sense of humor, his jokes and his smile.

When the word of his retirement spread, a GoFundMe page was started that raised $150,000 for his retirement!

It’s a similar story for LaDonna Vaughn. She works at the Hazlewood North Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. The school’s students call her “Granny.”

Vaughn is known for her tough love approach with them and can be heard telling the boys and girls to “Make good choices.”

Students who have moved on to high school regularly return to Hazlewood North to thank Granny Vaughn for her “tough and tender” guidance.

The Bottom Line

The Parkland shooting has shown a bright light on the inadequacies of school security. If any good can come from this tragedy, it will hopefully be that lawmakers and school officials will finally take steps to comprehensively address the causes behind these events.

Adding security guards, armed or unarmed, are just one step to a larger solution. Their placement in schools should not be viewed with fear. Security guards are caring, loving people, too. They can become important, influential and memorable members of any school community.

If you want to learn more about adding security guards to your facility, call American Security Force at 855-722-8585.

School Security: Attack Happened When No Guard Was Present

school security might have protected a girl on a Dayton playgroundLast Friday a seven-year-old girl was stabbed while playing on a school playground. It happened at the World of Wonder Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio. The attacker walked onto the grounds, stabbed the girl and ran off on foot.  Inadequate school security could be to blame.

On Monday of this week, the little girl was released from the hospital, but the attacker had not yet been arrested.

Yesterday, the family of the little girl asked the Dayton Public Schools to make security changes. WDTN.com reports that they wanted assurances that the school would be safe before they allowed the girl to return. They also wanted to know what happened? Were there security lapses that led to the attack?

No School Security Present

SecurityInfoWatch.com reports that there is a typically a security guard posted at the school. However, on the day of the attack, the officer was not on duty because of illness.

The WDTN.com report notes that the district’s policy calls for a “liaison with the district” is to fill in when there is a security guard vacancy. The challenge that the school faced last week, though, was that no one was available on the day of the stabbing. So, there was no guard on duty.

Deterrent Power

While it might not be reasonable to say that the absence of the security guard led to the attack, the reverse could be argued: Had the guard been on duty, the attack might never have occurred. That’s because of the deterrent power of a security guard.

When attackers see a guard, they know they’re not going to get away with whatever it is they were planning to do. So they abandon their plans. It is very likely to assume that if a guard had been on duty at the World of Wonder playground last Friday, the attack never would have happened.

That’s the power of having a security guard on-site, whether it is a school, business, or property.

For more information about how American Security Force can protect your property or business, call us today at 877-722-8585.

School Security: More is Needed to Keep Our Children Safe

ENSCHEDE THE NETHERLANDS - 02 FEB 2015: Students are walking through a hallway with lockers on a high schoolNo matter where you live or what your background might be, parents share something in common: The love for our children. We all want what is best for them as they grow up. We want to teach them to be good people, and put them in a position to succeed. As parents, we also want to protect them and ensure their safety.

Sending our children to school is a way to make sure they learn knowledge and skills that prepare them for college or some other vocation later in life. We used to think of our schools as safe places for our children. That notion, however, was challenged in 1999 when 14 students and one teacher at Columbine High School lost their lives after two students went on a shooting spree.

Columbine began a national discourse about school security. That conversation, however, did not bring the needed security changes. Consider this: After Columbine, from 1999 to 2012, another 64 school shootings took place in grades 1 through 12. Of those events, 38 were fatal shootings that resulted in 83 lives lost. That’s an average of 4.5 shootings with 5.9 deaths each year!

Then came the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012, the largest such event at a grade-, middle- or high school in U.S. history. Sandy Hook shocked the nation when we learned 20 children and six adults had been fatally shot.

Security in schools was again addressed, and many school districts finally took it seriously. Main entrances at schools that were once open to all quickly became locked, with admittance only possible if you were “buzzed” into the building.

Sadly, these steps have not been enough. It’s been just over two years since Sandy Hook, and school shootings have continued. In that time, the nation experienced 44 events in grades 1 through 12. Twelve of those shootings were fatal and 50 students or adults lost their lives. That’s an average of 22 shootings with 20 deaths each year! These two-year numbers are larger than what was seen in the 14 years between Columbine and Sandy Hook.

If this trend continues we will see a larger number of school shooting deaths over the next decade than we experienced between 1999 and 2012!

Clearly, the security precautions taken after these two events has not been enough. To keep our schools and our children safe we need to institute enhanced security measures at our schools.

Trained and experienced security professionals, like those from American Security Force, can create individualized plans for school districts. Onsite security guards, patrolling buildings and campuses will act as a deterrent for those looking to harm others. Armed with the latest technology, our guards are able to report in real-time to school administrators, and provide live video of evolving situations. Our security professionals can even train staff on crisis response, as well.

Call American Security Force today at 877-722-8585 to learn about our specialized security solutions. Our children deserve a safe learning environment.

 

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States