Educators, parents, and students rarely see eye to eye, but when it comes to school safety, all parties agree that improvements are always welcome. As administrators and faculty around the country prepare for the 2019–2020 school year, a variety of plans are being implemented and discussions and debates continue to reveal additional options that may make schools safer. Read on to learn about three popular options to address your school’s safety needs.
Installing Metal Detectors
Whenever a violent attack on a school makes headlines, the argument for and against installing metal detectors comes to the forefront. According to National School Safety and Security Services, most U.S. schools do not use metal detectors on a daily basis, although schools where weapons-related offenses commonly occur are the exception to the rule. For smaller schools, these devices may identify and eliminate potential problems, but they’re not perfect for every situation. The purchase, installation, maintenance, and replacement costs associated with metal detectors can be prohibitive to many school districts. And ensuring that every individual who comes on campus passes through these devices may prove logistically impractical.
Adding School Resource Officers
According to information cited in a 2007 U.S. Department of Justice report, schools employ 17,000+ school resource officers. That data is far from current, but the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) believes 14,000 to 20,000 SROs are currently working in public schools. These law enforcement officers work with one or more schools, but some schools feel that one SRO isn’t enough. In NASRO’s “Best Practices” issued in February 2018, they recommended “1 SRO per every 1,000 students.” Since many high schools and charter schools in Ohio have nearly 2,000 students or more, hiring additional SROs may provide better safety and security for the student population.
Strengthening Vulnerable Glass Doors and Windows
Since students and teachers both benefit from natural light in the classroom, many buildings are physically vulnerable due to large windows, especially during an active shooter incident. In addition to conducting simulated shooter drills and reunification practices, schools can add physical barriers to glass doors and windows by installing 3MTM Safety & Security Window Film. This patented safety film prevents shattered glass from scattering when a window is compromised by a bullet or other unexpected projectile. Sunray® has installed 3MTM Safety & Security Window Film in several Northeast Ohio schools, including Willoughby-Eastlake city schools. You can watch this product in action by clicking here.
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