IS YOUR SCHOOL EFFECTIVE AT ADDRESSING STUDENT VIOLENCE?
In May, 2016 the Institute of Education Services National Center for Education Statistics issued the report: Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2015. The findings reported, based on results from the 2013-14 school year, are sobering. In fact, so sobering that talking about them en masse is definitely too overwhelming. So let’s look at just one small element: incidents of violence.
During the 2013-14 school year:
- 65% of public schools recorded that one or more incidents of violence had taken place, amounting to an estimated 757,000 crimes. This translates to approximately 15 crimes per 1,000 students enrolled.
- 58% of public schools recorded one or more incidents of a physical attach or fight without a weapon
- 47% of schools recorded one or more incidents of threat of physical attack without a weapon
- 13% of public schools recorded one or more serious violent incidents
Violence leads to even greater consequences. In the 2012-13 school year there were 53 school-associated violent deaths. We all have seen the news reports of tragedies from Columbine to Sandy Hook. No one wants the schools in their community to be on the national news from such an event.
Security plans in schools start outside
At Conzer Security we see the faces of school administrators and staff. We know the enormous weight and responsibility they feel. We hear them grapple with the questions of how to keep students safe and what steps to take to work with students who are perpetrators of violence in their student bodies.
Schools take many steps to protect students and staff from violence coming into schools. There are controlled access systems and alarm systems on doors and windows. Protocols are put in place for anyone entering the building.
Security plans need to look inside, too
But there are also dangers from within the building. Controlled access and window and door alarms don’t help when the violence stems from the students.
Our first question from a security standpoint in answering the question about working with students at risk of violent behavior:
How do you know which students are at risk for violent behavior?
When the student body consists of hundreds, or thousands of students, it is not possible to see every threat, every fight, and every incidence of intimidation. Without intervention, violence that starts with bullying or threats can escalate into hands-on violence and move into situations involving weapons.
And, we have all learned through tragedy, that the victims of bullying and threats often become the violent perpetrators.
That’s why identifying students at risk for demonstrating violent behavior are identified as quickly and efficiently as possible. In addition to a system for students to report violent or threatening behavior, technology can be a part of the identification process. In fact, cameras are the most objective recorder.
With security camera systems, small incidences and patterns can be noted and staff can be alerted to intervene before small episodes snowball into bigger, more severe incidents, with irreversible consequences.
Technology and cameras can support your security and safety program. School personnel then has real tools to reduce the potential for violence in their schools. They can address violent behavior from the onset, rather than react to its results.
Conzer Security wants school children and staff to be safe and we make it our mission to provide the best in security systems and programs to make that happen. Contact Conzer Security today to find out how we can partner to help change the trajectory of school violence statistics.