In 2018, 51 people were killed in 82 school shooting incidents. This is the highest number of shootings and the highest number of fatalities since experts started collecting this data in 1970. These numbers indicate that the instances and severity of school shootings in America are escalating. It is becoming clear that school districts need to provide a safe and secure learning environment for their students and staff.
In the end, schools have no choice. Students are their responsibility, and school districts must develop their security policies with smart technology planning in order to keep their staff and kids safe. Although funding remains tight for the majority of educational institutions, there are common sense school security solutions out there that can be worked into school budgets.
The National Institute of Justice commissioned the Rand Corporation to study school violence by talking to several respected subject matter experts about this critical issue. The results of that study were a series of recommended technological solutions to help reduce school violence. According to the Rand study, these are the top three best ways to strengthen your school technology planning to reduce school violence.
Three School Technology Planning Tools Your Schools Need to Reduce School Violence
1. Building access monitoring
One proactive solution that can reduce school violence is by installing automatically locking doors at all interior or exterior school buildings. When building access can be controlled and monitored, less issues can arise when the appropriate students are allowed access, during school hours or off.
Smart technology can help with automatic locked doors. Students can tap their ID cards and be allowed access or denied. If there is a lockdown needed, access can be controlled with the touch of a button. School violence is no joke, so when staff are about to visually see if an issue is occuring, rather than closed doors, you are proactively reducing the chances of bullying and violence on your campus.
2. Visitor Management Systems
Students, staff and parents need to feel safe when at school. Knowing who is on your school campus is one very important factor that should always be part of a security routine. With smart technology, schools can utilize the benefits a great deal. For example, traditional methods for new visitors on school campuses would be a simple sign in sheet and ID check to see if the person is really them. Unfortunately, this does not show if they are a potential threat.
Another proactive solution to solving this issue is utilizing smart technology services, such as a visitor management system. When a new visitor is at the entry point for a school campus, with just a tap of their card, the school will be able to scan their information to see if anything pops up that would be a red-flag and a potential risk to students and staff. Their information will be cross-checked with a registered sex-offender database as well, providing staff the knowledge they need to make the appropriate decision when they entcounter an issue with a new visitor. This definitely beats the traditional method because who knows when a new visitor might act violent toward students or staff once on campus.
3. Behavioral Management Systems
Outside visitors aren’t the only ones that can pose a threat to the school and students. Students themselves can pose a threat to other students and staff alike. Typically, students that are bullied and suppressed could react violently more so than the bullies that hurt them. This is where a behavioral management system comes into play. Students in a lot of cases need help managing their health and wellness, aside from happiness.
With a centralized platform, students will be able to get back on track with the tools they need in order to become successful in their academic career. No matter who the child talks to, whether they are a counselor, teacher, or staff official, all their information about the student will be documented efficiently so that everyone is on the same page when dealing with a potential at-risk students.
What Else Can We Do to Reduce School Violence?
The goal should always be to prevent and become proactive in tackling school violence, not to react. The National Association of School Psychologists says it’s important to focus on creating a supportive school environment. When students, parents, teachers, and administrators work together, a school can transform itself into a positive and self-regulating learning environment. Here are a few tips to help you develop a positive school environment creation plan:
- Clearly communicate behavioral expectations and consequences to students and parents.
- Teach empathy and communication skills, starting in kindergarten.
- Implement a system of positive supports and interventions for students struggling with behavioral issues.
- Foster positive and trusting relationships between students and all staff, including teachers, administrators, counselors, facilities staff, and security personnel.
- Find ways to directly involve students in creating and maintaining a positive environment at their school; look to your teachers who already enlist their students to develop and sign a classroom behavioral contract for inspiration.
Reduce School Violence with ScholarChip
A proactive solution to help tackle school violence and reduce school threats is utilizing smart technology provided by ScholarChip.
ScholarChip is an all-in-one, platform solution to help reduce school threats and address the important issues surrounding school safety. Data from students, faculty, and stakeholders 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 you can strengthen your school technology planning in order to reduce violence from occurring consistently, feel free to reach out to scholarchip today and schedule a 1-on-1 strategy session with one of our specialists!