The number of cases of threats on school campuses across the United States is on the rise. According to the United States Department of Education, there were 37 communities across the United States which experienced school violence on one or more campuses between 1974 and 2000, leading to a real concern about school safety.
In addition, and more timely, is the information from research produced by Harvard. This study indicates since September 6, 2011, there have been 14 public mass shootings which occurred less than 172 days of each other. While this doesn’t just include school shooting incidents, they are included in those numbers.
However, school shootings are only one component of school safety. There are issues of fires, bomb threats, violence on campus and other forms of safety concerns and threats which may not be reported in the news or rise to the level of a mass shooting.
Knowing Campuses and Assessing Threats
One of the major components of any school safety system needs to include a complete and detailed understanding of each campus. Maps, asset identification, and structural information needs to be available to first responders and coordinators in the event of some type of crisis or disasters.
In addition, having the ability to monitor continually all open source data for the potential of threats to a campus is another element of effective school safety solution. Analytic programs running continually to collect data from all sources, compare it to other sources and provide real-time reports to prioritize risks are essential for prevention of security breaches and potential threats.
When a school district implements a safety profile for each campus, it is then possible to consider potential risks and vulnerabilities. From this information a detailed, proactive plan can be developed and shared with all first responders, allowing a seamless provision of support and response in the event of the detection of a threat, an actual threat or a disaster.
Tracking threats and having a way to evaluate them accurately and effectively is at the heart of any school safety program. Coordinating and planning responses, recording and monitoring even low-risk threats and having access to information necessary during a response are the other elements any safety program for a school should offer.
Having a top school safety not only provides effective methods of addressing threats, but it can help to provide early identification of risks to eliminated the possibilities of threats, helping to keep all campuses safer for all students.
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