Security Insight

Sept. 1, 2008
With school back in session, what steps have you taken to ensure the safety of students, staff and facilities?

With school back in session, what steps have you taken to ensure the safety of students, staff and facilities?

A recent survey conducted by American School & University and Access Control & Security Systems magazines provides valuable insight into what school districts and higher-education institutions are doing in the way of security implementation, equipment installed and planning to be installed, spending on security, as well as top security concerns. You can view the survey, part of a special supplement in the July issue of both magazines, at www.ASUmag.com/supplements.

Among additional insight not reported in the published supplement: When asked what security measures school districts currently have in place, the most common included administrators or other staff walking the halls more often; intervention programs; and zero-tolerance policies. Among the measures districts plan on adding in the 2008-09 school year include strict rules regarding building access and implementing a student hotline/encouragement of anonymous tips.

Colleges and universities place more reliance on unarmed school security officers; armed sworn police officers; and student hotlines/encouragement of anonymous tips. For the 2008-09 school year, colleges and universities plan on adding strict rules regarding building access; administrators or other staff walking the halls more often; and intervention programs for troubled students.

Security decisions at both school districts and higher-education institutions most often are made as a result of proactive planning. At school districts, pressure/requests from fellow administrators is the next most important factor influencing security decisions. At colleges and universities, pressure/requests from students is among the most important influencers.

When asked about the timing of security threats, K-12 institutions most frequently indicate threats occur during school hours; colleges and universities are more likely to see threats during late-night hours.

About the Author

Joe Agron | Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher

Joe Agron is the editor-in-chief/associate publisher of American School & University magazine. Joe has overseen AS&U's editorial direction for more than 25 years, and has helped influence and shape national school infrastructure issues. He has been sought out for comments by publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, ABC News and CNN, and assisted with the introduction of the Education Infrastructure Act of 1994.

Joe also authors a number of industry-exclusive reports. His "Facilities Impact on Learning" series of special reports won national acclaim and helped bring the poor condition of the nation's schools to the attention of many in the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of Education and the White House.

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