Current vs. Future: School Safety Enhancements

January 18, 2019

The Current State of School Safety

30 years ago, the only thing that protected students was the fire alarm. Soon after came the closed-circuit television (CCTV) and metal detector. Today, there are a number of systems that are utilized by school districts across the country to ensure student safety. Some of these include officers stationed in schools, metal detectors, smoke alarms, intruder alarms, fire and intruder drills, and Identification Card systems.

Metal detectors, ID card systems, and intruder alarms ensure that knives, guns, and any other unwanted objects or people are not able to make it into schools, and keep schools as places not of violence and fear, but of learning, safety, and growth.
In addition, smoke alarms make it so that fires can almost instantly be detected, even when no humans are present to detect them. This makes evacuating schools in the case of a fire much more efficient - in the past, a fire could smolder for hours before it was encountered, by which time it may have been too late.

Scheduled and routine fire and lockdown drills prepare students for these possible unfortunate events. Getting students used to these procedures allows for the best decisions to be taken during an emergency, as everyone is calm and collected and already accustomed to the procedure. The unpredictable nature of such emergencies makes this crucial to ensure the safety of everyone in the school.

Today, one of the largest additions to school safety includes police officers being assigned to schools and having a dedicated office inside the building. This ensures that in the case of a school emergency, a specially trained police officer will be able to respond in less than a fraction of the time it would have taken a 911 dispatcher to get the police department to make it to the school. A police officer in the school at all times also gives peace of mind both to parents and the children that their school is a place of learning, and allows students to worry only about performing at their best.

School security cameras
Source: Matrix Security and Surveillance

The Future of School Safety

Using the aforementioned safety techniques is a basic requirement of schools across the country. However, there is much more that can be done to reduce safety risks students face in schools. As the EdTech market expands to more and more safety-related products, schools can begin to utilize these advanced tools. From machine-learning algorithms to detect unusual activity in security cameras to one-click panic buttons for staff to issue a school-wide alarm, technology has come a long way from traditional safety measures.

One problem that most school administrators are facing today is student accountability. How many students are currently in your hallways- and which ones? A student accountability solution like SmartPass provides that final piece in the whereabouts of students, providing ultimate student accountability. By knowing exactly which students are in the hallways at any given time, it provides critical information during emergencies such as fires or intruders.

Before implementing our digital hall pass application, administrators would have no way to know how many students were in the hallways at a certain time. In addition, these students then wouldn’t have access to teacher-provided directions or given protection by the classroom door. Student accountability can be increased significantly, promoting a safer school environment. If you’d like to learn more, schedule a demo below.

Header image source: Indiana Public Radio

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