Student safety continues to be a top concern among educators, and a vast array of electronic devices now are available to help administrators and security personnel with this task.

The devices are, for the most part, observation equipment. These devices—video cameras, bar-coded identification badges, electronic locks, etc.—assure that only students and authorized staff can enter school buildings. They also help school personnel track students’ whereabouts. School administrators who have installed security equipment report reduced incidents of student tardiness and absenteeism, as well as less vandalism of school property.

While many schools cannot afford high-tech safety equipment, the manufacturers of the products say they are rapidly reducing prices on school-scale equipment that is now common in commercial environments.

Top vendors of school security equipment include:

1. Biometric Access Corp. (http://www.biometricaccess.com).

2. Honeywell Inc. (http://www.honeywell.com).

3. Iridian Technologies Inc. (http://www.iriscan.com).

4. National Institute for School and Workplace Safety (http://www.nisws.com).

5. Recognition Systems Inc.

(http://www.handreader.com).

6. Safe Schools America Inc. (http://www.safeschools-america.com).

7. Ultrak Inc. (http://www.ultrak.com).

In addition, several web sites run by the federal government and nonprofit associations provide tips on using technology and non-technological measures to enhance security. The leading sites include:

8. National School Safety Center (http://www.nssc1.org).

9. Sandia National Laboratories

(http://www.sandia.gov).

10. U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org).