SROs: A great investment in campus safety

SROOne of the best security measures any district can employ is a school resource officer (SRO)–a trained police officer assigned to a campus. If an emergency strikes, the officer is there to immediately help take control of the situation. There was a perfect example at the end of August…

One of the best security measures any district can employ is a school resource officer (SRO)–a trained police officer assigned to a campus. These officers get to know the campus, the staff, administrators, and students. And if an emergency strikes, the officer is there to immediately help take control of the situation.

There was a perfect example at the end of August. An armed intruder walked onto a high school campus in Tennessee and confronted the principal, pointing a weapon at him. The SRO stepped in between them and began to calm the intruder and move him into an area where he couldn’t harm students or other staff.…Read More

Buses need security, too

school-bus-topSchool buses are often a likely place for assaults, bullying, and vandalism to occur. In a Chicago suburb, a 3-year-old, hearing-impaired girl was allegedly assaulted on a school bus on her way home…

School buses are often a likely place for assaults, bullying, and vandalism to occur. Here are some recent stories ripped from the headlines:

In a Chicago suburb, a 3-year-old, hearing-impaired girl was allegedly assaulted on a school bus on her way home. The 71-year-old driver said he was unaware that anything improper occurred. Fortunately, police were able to review recorded video from cameras placed on several district buses over the summer. That video led police to arrest a 12-year-old boy also on the bus at the time of the alleged assault. A local police officer said this was the first time the cameras had been used in a police investigation.…Read More

Campus recovering after massacre

police tape webIt’s been more than five years now since a 16-year-old student at Red Lake High School in Minnesota shot and killed his grandfather and the grandfather’s girlfriend. He then took the grandfather’s police-issue weapons and squad car to his school, where he…

It’s been more than five years now since a 16-year-old student at Red Lake High School in Minnesota shot and killed his grandfather and the grandfather’s girlfriend. He then took the grandfather’s police-issue weapons and squad car to his school, where he killed five students, one teacher, and an unarmed security guard before taking his own life. It still stands as one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.

But today, the school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation is a much happier place. The district has received more than $2 million in school improvement grants—funds that are being used to develop staff and new curriculum with the idea of increasing student test scores and graduation rates.…Read More

Work with staff, parents, and students

home_security_camera_ste-320x243Not long ago, the decision by a Northeastern school district to install security cameras in two high schools without any announcement to parents, faculty, staff or students stirred up a hornet’s nest…

Not long ago, the decision by a Northeastern school district to install security cameras in two high schools without any announcement to parents, faculty, staff or students stirred up a hornet’s nest.

A student newspaper first broke the story about the cameras. A debate ensued about whether or not the cameras should stay. A committee was formed to decide if the cameras represented too great a threat to the privacy of students, faculty, and staff.…Read More

Think outside the box: Doing more with less, Part 2

Dollar Sign on Green BackgroundIn my last blog, I wrote about the massive budget deficits facing most school districts, making it vital that everyone learn to do more with less. Yet, at the same time, we can’t overlook the security needs of our campuses. A few thefts or acts of vandalism can cost more than…

In my last blog, I wrote about the massive budget deficits facing most school districts, making it vital that everyone learn to do more with less. Yet, at the same time, we can’t overlook the security needs of our campuses. A few thefts or acts of vandalism can cost more than the security that may have helped prevent the crimes.

It begins with a security risk assessment. The goal is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the district’s security program. Often times, the weaknesses can be remedied with simple, inexpensive solutions such as landscaping, fencing, or lighting.…Read More

Schools see the value of cameras

Security_Camera_Sign2More and more school districts are seeing the value of camera systems in helping to protect campuses. There is a reason districts across the country are turning to video surveillance, and that is because…

More and more school districts are seeing the value of camera systems in helping to protect campuses. In just the past week or two:

Skyline School in Portland, Ore., where 7-year-old Kyron Horman disappeared in June, now has cameras in the place due to a generous donation. This is the first school in the district to have cameras and administrators at looking at ways to pay for them on other campuses.…Read More

Keep after-school events safe

School Resource Officer_2311The start of a new high school football season is a reason to celebrate–but it also is a time for administrators to be on guard against those who find the games an excuse for criminal behavior. And it’s not just football that can lead to security problems on campus. The same can be true for dances, concerts, and other after-school activities. Fortunately, there are some steps that can help control a situation before it gets out of hand…

For many students, faculty, parents, and members of the surrounding community, the start of a new high school football season is a reason to celebrate. But it also is a time for administrators to be on guard against a few people who find the games an excuse for criminal behavior.…Read More

More schools take security seriously

keypadAs we enter a new school year, I’m happy to see several districts spent the summer making investments in keeping their students, faculty and staff safer. One New Mexico district partnered with a new…

As we enter a new school year, I’m happy to see several districts spent the summer making investments in keeping their students, faculty and staff safer.

•    One New Mexico district partnered with a new bus service provider that equips each bus with three surveillance cameras–one facing the students in their seats, another watching as the kids step on board and the last monitoring the road.  District drivers were immediately pleased.…Read More

Train and maintain

OTE_lab_close_0ne of the more confusing stories I’ve read lately comes from East St. Louis, Ill., where burglars have taken more than $1 million in…

One of the more confusing stories I’ve read lately comes from East St. Louis, Ill., where burglars have taken more than $1 million in computers and other expensive electronic equipment from local schools over the past year–yet there have been no records of any requests for prosecution of the crimes.

And there is even disagreement among how many laptop computers have been stolen, with the reports ranging between 52 and 110.…Read More

Copper thieves continue to strike

copper_wireSchools are not immune. I recently wrote about an Oklahoma district hard hit by thieves taking or gutting…

Copper theft continues to escalate across the country. Churches, doctor’s offices, retail businesses, and government facilities are all targets. And schools are not immune. I recently wrote about an Oklahoma district hard hit by thieves taking or gutting air conditioners for the copper inside the units.

As the price of copper hits new highs almost daily, the Fort Worth Independent School District has fallen victim to copper thieves. The district recently had to replace damaged air conditioners on nine campuses at a cost well in excess of $100,000. The self-insured district, like nearly all others in the country, is strapped for cash.…Read More