As school districts and college campuses across the nation enter the 2018-19 year, there are likely many important thoughts on the minds of students, faculty members, and parents alike. In wake of recent mass shooting incidents like the ones at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Santa Fe High Schools, school safety arguably remains one of the most prominent. Unfortunately, due to a myriad of administrative, budgetary and political factors; these tragic events have become an all too common part of today’s general education landscape.
Within this issue, there remain a variety of arguments related to this issue that fluctuate in national media. However, in order to prevent, respond to and/or mitigate the growing threat of violence towards the our educational institutions, I believe we must focus our attention on just one crucial, yet incredibly tangible variable: a balance of consistent school safety assessment and proper campus security in addition to reporting and investigation plans that act on potential threats.
Regarding the latter, there are several important factors to take into consideration when auditing schools for security-based weaknesses and oversights.
Emphasizing a thorough approach
There are several ways schools commonly conduct security audits, ranging from simple walkthroughs to comprehensive analyses of building components, surrounding grounds, and the technologies involved in surveying both. The truth is, unfortunately, that very few on-staff school safety professionals and/or consultants serving schools and colleges focus on comprehensive safety & security assessment; which includes the review and revision of plans, compliance, emergency management, investigations, reporting and physical security measures.