Proactive and preventive measures are generally the best response to a potential crisis. In recent American history, the success and failure of a good prevention contingency model have meant life or death for school children. To ensure school safety, there are many moving pieces to the puzzle. There are also a lot of surface level techniques that are general practices among school districts regarding school safety and the plans to be implemented. Through these general techniques, we’ll be able to find the “hidden” benefits toward investing in a school safety plan.
Crisis prevention is attainable, but often times the true benefits of school safety plans and strategies are hidden in plain sight.
What systems exist now
The most recent developments in police response reports hold the key indicators we need. We cannot form theories of improvement if we don’t have factual examples of failure.
The discrepancies between school safety plans will differ from major metropolitan to rural communities, naturally. They will also vary depending on the region. Below are specs from NYPD school safety protocol, which is our local effect metropolis. You can see LAPD equivalent reports here if you’d like to compare notes on either coast. For the southwest, see this report from Office of the Attorney General in Texas.
Where have these systems failed?
Full complaint reports against security administrators are available. The actual contingencies of the complaints will vary per location. Because our company is located in New York, we chose the NYPD safety complaints to use as our example. You may read these reports yourself, here. The data makes a good starting point in our investigation of school security failure.
Failure to assess threats
Assessing threats properly is the quintessential step in an effective school plan. The failure then is obvious. Almost too obvious to go noticed in our planning process. Our failure is from misidentification and not implementing proactive steps.
Even with the best-laid plans and profiling analysis, someone could possibly slip through the cracks. In these situations, there have been active shooters and casualties.
From the Active Shooter Phase Report, we had some revelations that break the pattern. As follows:
- Shooters were not uniform or identifiable by demographic factors. Which means that shooter profiling methods are not working well.
- Active shooters are avid planners. Almost 77% of live attacks were planned in advance. This means that a prevention failure is often the reason for a live shooting to result in casualties.
- The majority of active shooters obtained firearms illegally. This implies that plans which merely screen for weapons on the premise are ineffective. Violent criminals are rebellious by default and will not obey weapons policies.
The pattern continues to debunk what is commonly believed by security planners. Only 25% of these shooters could be diagnosed at some point in their history with psychotic disorders. In fact, a greater percentage of violence was linked to interpersonal and or employment actions that were taken against the aggressor. These actions were seen as threats that led to violent crime. A viable solution to certain cases such as these can be implementing a visitor management system for your school campus.
The risks in failure
To cite the Office of the Attorney General, the risks lie deeply in stigmatizing children unjustly. Profiling students unjustly create a false representation and thus leads to the wrong scaling methods because a false label was placed early on, instead of understanding students through possibly ABE (Alternative Behavior Educator). These profiling mistakes lead to future failures.
Where risks don’t prioritize correctly
From the presented data, we have formed a causal theory into school safety plans failure. Our stipulation is simple. Risks that are presented in real-time data reports are giving the correct priority levels that are relevant to each concern. Rather than using a general security detector for example. Profiling only takes you so far.
Modern identity management technology is the golden ingredient of school safety plans. This is where we find the hidden benefits of a safety plan that acts as a strategy rather than a policy. While a policy in itself good and necessary, we still need the management plan. That’s why its benefit remains hidden still in many school districts until a visitor management system and a smart chip card are in place.
Conflicting policies: Law enforcement research vs Academic Research
Privatized school security, as set forth by organizations like NAESP, conflicts some with the recent data gathered by law enforcement. These organizations have allotted funds to making a safe, stress-free school environment. They dispense funds toward mental health response. Yet we see by comparing the above data, that this is only supporting 25% of the problem. Only 25% of observed violence came from those who were psychotic.
The logic behind school security, excluding surveillance is the mental impact it will have on students and faculty. Metal detectors and guards pose a hostile environment. It degrades the learning experience that schools are intended for.
In this light, we know the solutions lie not only in improving surveillance options but also improving the presence of surveillance and response. That’s where the hidden benefits of a school security plan come to bat. That’s also where they hide in plain sight.
Actionable strategy: The hidden benefit of red tape
With inconsistent data, a better strategy will shed light on the logical play in preventing incidents from happening on school campuses.
With enough red tape, you and your potential assailant will eventually trip one of the ribbons during the premeditated phase. Thus, investing in a security surveillance or even digital alarm system allows for the right laser net to cushion students. This is an excellent investment to weigh together with the school code of conduct.
The Solution: Identity Management Platform with Smart Card
In conclusion, the ultimate safeguard against youth violence in this country is utilizing smart technology. An identity management platform includes issued Smart ID Cards to students and staff incorporated with a Visitor Management System. This cohesive solution is key to staying on top of your duties to prevent violence, secure attendance, and forecast future incidents so you are fully equipped. Although the population is increasing, the school population is decreasing, and modern technology is here to help. Creating proactive solutions instead of reactive solutions keep you one step ahead of the curve.
What is an Identity Management Platform?
A visitor management system identifies, greets and tracks all visitors, managing their status throughout the duration of their visit. These systems simplify the check-in. Smart ID cards for students & staff not only identify, they can register students and staff going to-and-from. It can also allow administrators to manage building access rights for certain cardholders. By investing in these systems, you are removing the discomfort factor of traditional security checks. A card, badge or bracelet that can be monitored is far less jarring to see for a young student.
The ScholarChip solution
ScholarChip’s modular tools have the profound range to transform your classroom’s atmosphere. Your faculty should never have to cower under the fear of complex security protocol again. ScholarChip is an all-in-one, cost-saving solution to help reduce school threats and address the important issues surrounding school safety. Data from students, faculty, and stakeholder are leveraged to manage school access, attendance, and behavior management through the platform tools to increase safety and promote the campus climate schools are looking for.
If you would like to learn more about how your school can benefit from implementing ScholarChip’s platform, feel free to request a 1-on-1 school safety plan strategy session today!