Are schools really safe?

When we think about school safety our first instinct is physical safety. Sadly, it’s a real concern with the all-too-regular gun shootings and bullying that occurs. However, there’s a far more common and pervasive issue occurring: emotional safety.

Since the industrial revolution, school has been primarily taught in an authoritarian style where kids are judged constantly and relentlessly from academics to behaviors. In addition, teachers and peers use shame and degradation to show their “higher” value or status, which causes additional emotional trauma.

We might think it’ll “toughen kids up,” but given the levels of [emotional] stress kids experience every day, it’s doing far more harm than good. Not to mention, emotional stress changes brain chemistry–especially when you experience this type of regular cortisol release. Kids aren’t spontaneously “going crazy” and “mentally ill” with depression and anxiety; they’re simply trying to survive in their environment.…Read More

How AI technologies support school safety

The COVID pandemic has changed much about how we live and how we work. Nowhere is this more evident than in our schools – in how we safely teach our students and how our students learn, safely. The challenge with schools is that, from a safety perspective, educational institutions were already under siege.

Consider the following: According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more than 3,200 fires each year in schools in the U.S. According to the United States Government Accountability Office, there are roughly 115 school bus incidents involving fatalities each year. Of course, most people don’t realize this because this information is overshadowed by the 180 school shootings in the U.S. from 2009-2018, according to CNN.

And now – in 2021 – we have inserted the impact of a global pandemic into this already-volatile situation, with almost no suggestions or assistance to these schools regarding how to safely re-open and keep our school campuses open.…Read More

State of School Safety Report Reveals 30% Gap between Parents and Administrators on Perception of School Safety

NEWTOWN, CT – July 13, 2021 – A report developed by Safe and Sound Schools and Raptor Technologies, based on a nationwide survey of school district administrators, public safety staff, teachers, parents, and students, has identified significant gaps in attitudes about school safety. The 2021 State of School Safety Report shows students and parents are less confident than administrators in critical areas, including a 30-point gap when asked if their school takes a proactive approach to safety awareness. Concerns include how proactive schools are regarding student and campus security, how the school community would respond in a campus emergency, and preparedness to reunify children with guardians following a crisis. 

The report reveals a distinct difference in understanding of the steps schools are taking to address parent and student concerns about safety. Additionally, the survey generated feedback on topics such as how schools handled the COVID-19 pandemic, apprehension about the mental health of returning students, and the overall preparedness of schools to handle emergencies.

As students return to the classroom this coming fall, concerns around safety and security are top of mind.  The most significant discrepancy demonstrated by the survey was the level of confidence district administrators and security personnel have in tackling safety issues compared to the confidence levels of students and parents. For instance, where 86% of administrators feel prepared for an active shooter event in their district, only 51% of parents and 44% of students feel the same. Additionally, where 85% of security personnel and 87% of administrators feel prepared to handle mental health emergencies, only 44% of students and 45% of parents feel that school districts have the right resources in place. …Read More

School District Uses Digital Signage to Stay Connected

Keeping connected amidst the global pandemic has become critically important for schools. Central Lyon School District in Rock Rapids, Iowa has leveraged its digital signage to facilitate sporting events and maintain a community spirit – even while observing official health and safety guidelines. 

Central Lyon is a unique K12 school district that serves 780 students, from preschool to high school, in one large campus building. While they were fortunate to be able to open for the fall 2020 school term, they needed to adapt to new protocols and guidelines for social distancing. 

In addition to mandatory mask-wearing for students, there are also limitations on attendance for sports and other events. School safety is of utmost importance so digital signage has been an important ally in communicating the social distancing regulations and attendance capacity limits. …Read More

eBOARDsolutions Announces Major Update to Simbli Policy Module

eBOARDsolutions Inc., today announced a major update to their online policy management software, the Simbli Policy Module.

One of six core modules that make up Simbli’s board management software, the Policy module helps school boards develop, communicate, and collaborate on policies and procedures in real time. Fully integrated with Simbli’s Meetings, Planning, Evaluations, Documents, and Communications Modules, the newly enhanced Policy Module provides governance teams even greater flexibility and control in managing all of the board’s important work.

“Through Simbli’s Policy module, our subscribers can not only access and make vital updates to their board policy manual, but also manage things like student and staff handbooks, school safety manuals, financial or IT procedures manuals, business continuity plans, and other critical manuals all in one place,” said Mark Willis, eBOARDsolutions Chief Operating Officer. “With Simbli, all of their manuals are easily searchable and 100% compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”…Read More

New Mexico Adopts Rave Panic Button to Improve School Safety

Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), the critical communication and collaboration platform customers count on when it matters most, announced New Mexico as the latest state to deploy its Rave Panic Button in all K-12 schools across the state, joining Oklahoma, Delaware and Louisiana in statewide deployments. The growth in Rave Panic Button deployments comes as new features are added to the platform to further enhance the tool’s ability to get help where it’s needed most during an emergency, as well as strengthen internal critical communications.

As schools navigate safety threats both old and new, they need fast, smart, reliable technology that can create a direct connection with 9-1-1, first responders and on-site personnel to activate an immediate response to any type of emergency—from day-to-day medical incidents to crisis situations. Rave Panic Button will now fill that need in New Mexico, covering nearly 350,000 students across all K-12 public schools, creating a fully interoperable school safety platform statewide.

The app has already been implemented in nearly 50 states and is used in over 10,000 schools across the U.S., including those in Washington, D.C., and Florida, where 25% of the student population statewide is protected by Rave Panic Button.…Read More

How to thoughtfully implement panic buttons into your school safety plan

During an emergency situation, there is nothing more important than response time. A single minute can be the difference between help arriving on time versus too late. In fact, the average school shooting lasts 12.5 minutes, while the average police response time is 18 minutes. There is no time to waste when something goes awry, especially in a school.

Anyone who has worked in the education field can tell you that there is no such thing as a typical school day–whether it’s a burst pipe, student fight, an intruder, or an allergic reaction, no two days are ever the same and they rarely go according to plan. In these situations, teachers and staff should have a way to summon help quickly and easily, and a great tool for this is a panic button.

Related content: 5 ways our district tech enhances student safety…Read More

The state of student safety

District administrators are under immense pressure from parents to keep their children safe and are investing money in school safety initiatives. Communities have shifted from the belief that “it can’t happen here,” to doing everything they can to prevent it from happening.

Twenty years ago, the concerns about student safety were about preventing classroom misbehavior, physical bullying, fighting, and drugs. Now, it’s much more complex and the stakes are higher. We are literally talking about life and death issues for our students. What has changed in recent years to explain this increase in personal self-harm, suicide, and school violence?

Related content: 6 reasons we’re using a student safety platform…Read More

Districts are using tech to prevent school violence

School violence regularly occupies news headlines, turning students into activists as they demand gun control and call on lawmakers and education stakeholders to drastically improve school safety.

This disturbing trend, including the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and the Nov. 14 shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., has prompted many districts to turn to technology solutions to put an extra layer of safety measures in schools.

Tools that monitor social media for threats, anonymous reporting systems, and databases to track and identify potentially preventable patterns among shootings are growing in popularity as educators recognize the importance of technology in preventing school violence.…Read More

6 tools to support school safety efforts

As teachers and students return to school across the country, thoughts range from nervous excitement to worries about how to keep school buildings–and the people in them–secure.

Last year’s school shooting in Parkland, FL sparked a massive movement, including student lie-ins and protests, focused on gun control and the irrefutable point that students should not have to worry about injuries or death when walking in school hallways or sitting in classrooms.

As students at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School pointed out, they aren’t the site of the first school shooting, and unfortunately, they didn’t expect to be the last. In fact, shortly after the Parkland shooting, another school shooting occurred in St. Mary’s County, MD. And earlier this month, a male high school student in Oklahoma stabbed a female classmate, allegedly because she declined to go out on a date with him despite his repeated efforts.…Read More