Children today face a multitude of dangers at school. From school shootings, inappropriate relationships, to cyberbullying, and sexting, the growing list of dangers seems to be getting worse every year, but we have good news.
Although technology is at the heart of some of these dangers, there are many technological advancements geared towards increasing school security and keeping students safe.
Technologies For Increasing School Security
In this article, we’ll discuss a few school safety technologies being used to improve school security and keep students safer.
We'll also touch on some school security inventions currently in development that will eventually be introduced and make a positive impact on overall student safety.
Cell Phone Access For Students
Four out of five adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 have their own cell phone, and a study released by ABC News indicates 50% of children get their first cell phone at age six!
There are several benefits to children having cell phones. Parents can use cellular technology in a number of ways, including:
- Checking in with children via text messages throughout the day
- Enabling children with the ability to call for help if faced with danger
- Free apps like Life360, Securafone, and SMS Tracker for a GPS pinpoint of their child’s exact location
Should Students Be Allowed To Carry Cell Phones For Safety Reasons?
Most cellphones and individual apps are equipped with various parental controls that limit what can be seen as well as who can make contact with your child through social media.
It is ultimately up to you to educate your children about the safe use of this technology. This includes staying extremely hands-on with devices, keeping a close handle on what gets downloaded and knowing what your children are doing on their phones.
Of course, there are pros and cons to allowing your child to have a cell phone. However, we encourage you to see the benefits it offers from a school safety technology standpoint.
Campus Alert Systems
Since the number of cellphones roaming campuses has grown, they’re now a major player in increasing school safety.
Most campuses are using automatically generated text alerts that get sent to teachers, students, and parents in the event of an emergency. This school safety technology can warn of danger and boost the chances that students can escape a bad situation.
Several schools have installed panic buttons in classrooms that can automatically notify emergency responders, campus security, sound an alarm and trigger a warning message to the school's administration.
What Is Your School's Policy On Cell Phones?
One teacher tried putting an end to cell phone use in his classroom using a cell phone jamming system and caused quite a stir. The system was a bit more powerful than the teacher had anticipated, and he ended up jamming the emergency communication transmitter on top of the school building.
The teacher learned a valuable lesson about disrupting communication, but fortunately, no real harm was done. Let’s just hope for his sake that the FCC doesn’t make a Federal case out of the issue, as we can all understand where that teacher was coming from.
As disruptive as cellphones in a classroom can be, they are an integral part of a increasing school security and the fastest way to issue a mass warning.
Campus Security Systems and Access Controls
Finding that fine line between welcoming students and creating a safe environment is a challenge faced by schools across the country.
There is a desire to seek out ways to improve school security, but should you go about doing so using ‘extreme’ tactics?
All schools are required to have fire alarm systems in Virginia, but many schools are going a step further with access control and security systems.
Converting the less used doors to allow emergency exits only and funneling students to either one or two well-monitored entry points can make it more difficult for suspicious people to gain entry into a school building.
How Far Should We Go To Increase School Security?
Some schools are taking things to the next level with metal detectors, x-ray machines and one school district in Florida has even considered monitoring students' social media activity for suspicious behavior.
It is up to parents and school administrators to decide what is best for each school on a case by case basis.
Installing a simple key card access control system and a few monitored video cameras are reasonable and relatively inexpensive ways to improve school security in a K-12 school environment.
The Future of School Safety Technology
A Virginia-based tech company called Databuoy has developed a monitored video technology able to detect gunfire on school campuses and instantly send video footage of the shooter to local police dispatch.
Using acoustic sensors, the system detects sounds like gunshots and points cameras towards the vicinity of the shooter.
Videos of the incident are instantly sent to the local police dispatch center, where a quick and accurate assessment of the situation is made.
School Security Technology Instantly Alerts Police
The goal of the software is to have police en route to a school shooting within 30 seconds, armed with a much clearer understanding of the situation at hand.
One of the biggest challenges emergency responders have with school shootings is trying to understand and make sense out of the flood of emergency phone calls that accompany these incidents.
It is a major challenge to understand exactly what is happening on the inside, which can greatly delay response times. Where is the gunman? How many gunmen? What types of weapons? Giving police access to video footage allows them to respond immediately and act faster.
A system like the Databuoy product is a great school security technology and an appropriate addition to any school's video surveillance system. Contact Databuoy to learn more.
Increasing Security With School Safety Technology
We do our best to stay at the forefront of school security technology to ensure we can provide schools throughout the Tidewater and Hampton Roads region with comprehensive ways to improve school security.
Click the button below to learn more about the school safety technologies we offer throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the Tidewater/Eastern Virginia Region.