Technological Security Measures for School Safety

Akram M. Ali, Contributing Writer

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Security measures in schools across the country have been in a rut lately. With the recent event of the school shooting on March 7, 2018 in Birmingham, Alabama, mass murders seem to be occurring more frequently. Alarmingly, security protocols have stayed the same for nearly thirty years, with the first ever metal detector being placed in Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, 1993. According to a report by Emanuella Grinberg on CNN, “The school has metal detectors, and school resource officers were on site at the time of the shooting.”

Fortunately, The Community College of Philadelphia, among other learning centers, are implementing more formalities like having an identification card that students and faculty members alike must swipe in before entering facilities on campus.

After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, sales of security equipment to education services reached 2.7 billion dollars. Although, the procedures taken are a step forward, with the rise of shootings in these institutions, there is an outcry for even more measures to be installed in schools. “There are no national standards in terms of products for school safety” said Curtis S. Lavarello, executive director of the School Safety Advocacy Council. Small companies have taken upon themselves to exploit this epidemic and attend the annual “School Safety Conference” hosted by the National Association of School Resource Officers in Reno, Nevada. At this conference, the companies showcase cutting edge advancements in school security, luring investors from schools of their respective state to purchase whatever they feel can be useful for protection. Technological security advancements undergo a process of whether the implementation is practical, i.e an automated mace that tracks the gunmen’s face during a critical situation or a bullet proof blanket of sorts. Thus, schools are available to use the technology for the well being of their students. “There’s not a lot of evidence to help districts sort through the pile before investing in costly systems”, said Heather L. Schwartz Associate Director, RAND Education; Policy Researcher; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Although it is a slow process, schools across the country are investing a lot of money to protect themselves for whatever violence is to come their way, one step at a time.

 

     Statistic Box

“There have been 146 school shootings since 2010-2018, having 158 people being killed and 246 injured, all through the range of eight years.”

 

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