Preemption Not Reaction: Districts Must Take Steps to Ward off Threats to School Security, Rather Than Responding to Them Once They Occur, When It May Already Be Too Late

By Jensen, Ralph C.; Fletcher, Geoffrey H. | T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), October 2007 | Go to article overview

Preemption Not Reaction: Districts Must Take Steps to Ward off Threats to School Security, Rather Than Responding to Them Once They Occur, When It May Already Be Too Late


Jensen, Ralph C., Fletcher, Geoffrey H., T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)


IF SCHOOL TRAGEDIES can teach us one thing, it's that students are vulnerable and deserve the best protection possible. Districts must realize that school violence can happen anywhere at any time. From the country's smallest rural districts to the overflowing campuses in big cities--and even in kindergarten classrooms and elementary schools--preparations must be taken.

Threats can come in many forms. While older students face a greater risk of violence from classmates, younger children must be protected against outside threats, such as abduction. Though there are a number of ways safety can be achieved, districts' top priority should always be preemptive, rather than reactive, security.

A preemptive approach to security enables districts to keep unwanted and unfamiliar visitors at bay, while keeping an eye on what goes on within each school. For example, by using security cameras in hallways and at entrances, officials can detect and record crime and violence as they at the same time make their presence known to would-be offenders.

Many districts also have begun controlling access to their schools by locking as many gates as possible, and then installing card readers or surveillance cameras at the remaining entrances. By restricting access, security officials gain control in otherwise chaotic, often volatile situations.

As you'll find in these pages and on our bonus online coverage at www.thejournal.com, many districts are taking very seriously their responsibility to make their schools safe and secure. …

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