In today’s environment, security is no longer an option. This is true for government locations, places of employment, and schools. Furthermore, school security is on everyone’s agenda, as the protection of children in places that are supposed to be inherently safe is of the highest priority. It is common to see security equipment installed in workplaces and even residential areas. Schools are no exception, and parents have a right to demand that their children be protected at all costs. In an era where budget cuts are common, a lack of funding for a school security system is no longer a valid excuse. Pressure is mounting, and communities are demanding a stop to the violence, regardless of the costs.
School Violence is Increasing
Many experts indicate that school violence has always existed. However, there is evidence that the extent of the violence has escalated and has reached a point where students are no longer sensitive to such acts, thus making the scenario common to the environment. According to a survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control, almost 10 percent of students have been involved in physical altercations within a year of the survey. Furthermore, students are missing class because of a fear of going to school. Part of the problem may stem from the reach of technology and the ability to extend bullying and victimization. As bullying and violence make their way into new mediums, parents and schools must adapt accordingly. Adults need to realize that the evolution in technology changes the way that students communicate. Therefore, the types of techniques used by bullies will evolve with the times and so should a school’s monitoring mechanisms.
Society Must Protect Children
Children deserve to feel safe in school and learn in an environment that is conducive to the expansion of knowledge. Furthermore, parents and government officials are pressuring school districts to improve safety and guarantee that children are safe in places where these concerns should not exist. Unsafe environments will negatively affect the way that children learn. Furthermore, results from research suggest that schools with an improved sense of community and with better learning environments had lower rates of delinquency and drug use. These factors may be related to the resilient character that these environments help create. Therefore, communities need to ensure that kids are placed in a position to become successful, and school safety is the first step. While budget cuts and restrictions on spending may limit what a school district can invest on because of limited funding, city, state, and federal governments need to act quickly and ensure that all schools have access to security.
The Price of Doing Nothing is Higher
Schools can use technology to increase the security and reduce the risk of students bringing weapons into the classroom. Security items as simple as locks and as complex as software that looks for cyberbullying are available to school districts across the United States. Some will serve as a deterrent while others help with monitoring and reaction time. However, no single tool will provide a permanent solution. Instead, schools need to implement comprehensive plans that align campus safety protocols with available technology to keep children safe and review these plans regularly. These include prevention programs that teach students and staff how to handle bullying, deterrents to avoid the entry of weapons, and ways to assist school officials and police respond more quickly and appropriately to potentially dangerous situations. In today’s environment, the cost of doing nothing is higher because it would entail negligent behavior by school districts. Instances of parents seeking expert testimony in cases where schools are accused of not keeping children safe are on a rise. Therefore, there is a strong indication that schools that do not do enough to guarantee a safe environment may be subject to expensive litigation.