Work Required in Planning and Execution
Safety issues can hit schools at any time and being prepared & proactive in addressing them is vital to having a successful plan.Any typical analyst would want to look at the numbers to gauge the size of the problem, so here is our effort towards School Safety Analysis:
83700 public schools surveyed in 2015-16 and 864800 incidents recorded. **NCES Source Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools: Findings From the School Survey on Crime and Safety: 2015–16.
Since 2013 there have been over 200 school shootings in America — an average of nearly one a week. We can no longer pretend that it is someone else’s problem. To put it in the words of ‘I Love you guys Foundation’, We do not choose Tragedy, but we sure can choose our response.
Excerpts from the research material on Urban.org ‘Research from the HOST project and shots fired during access hours shows that youth may be vulnerable not only at school but on the journey to and from school, which may affect their willingness to attend. No child should be afraid to access their right to education and if fear of violence on the way to school is discouraging youth from attending we need to figure out how to prevent that victimization’.. ‘Identifying students affected by trauma is the first step in delivering the services they need to maintain their psychological health and academic achievement’.
If these issues are so prominent, then how prepared are these schools?
- Schools that are aware of some training material for teachers and students to respond to issues.
- Experienced Safety professionals involved in the whole process.
This area requires some work and many school districts have a Safety professional in their administration team. Roughly 50% of the schools have a sworn law enforcement officer, some districts provide grants to schools to add Safety personnel or additional safety equipment to schools for School Safety Analysis.
**NCES Source Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools: Findings From the School Survey on Crime and Safety: 2015–16.
Fast facts on School safety measures **source NCES (National Center for Education Statistics)
Conclusion on School Safety Analysis:
If schools have some training material to rely on, districts have vested interest in hiring safety personnel for all the schools and 90% of them have controlled access to campus, and if there are still safety issues then these areas require a hard look
- Improvement of training materials by providing the latest context
- Adding more SROs to the system and increasing the focus on the right set of schools
- More lockdown, fire or other safety drills that are checklist driven and externally audited
- Smart tools to proactively manage and alert the right teams from anywhere in the campus or outside
It is difficult to prioritize any of them over others but I could not see a line item for the proactive tools on the list in any of the statistics so far.
Work Required in Planning and Execution
- Education leaders have to address the latest tools for safety in the budget planning. A simple peek into news would show little discussion on school funds towards safety. School leaders do re-appropriate funds to latest trends but not many towards the safety bandwagon. Districts have to rethink budgets and dedicate support to drive all the four elements.
- Corporates and Philanthropists who support the future of next-generation should focus on safety. This is a very compelling cause. Statistics around grants that support safety initiative show not many foundations have the campus/student safety aligned to their mission. “Safe” is a word carefully written in their focus areas. It means the health, not a Safe campus or Safer children
Most of the budgets and grants are towards education, rethink learning, and providing opportunities to the younger community. These are most genuine causes to serve but, who would benefit from these if the children are not safe, or feel safe in their school environment. This is an unneeded distraction in the school industry today.