***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***
Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.
Daily, school staff must deal with bullying, harassment, and discipline issues. These behavior-based problems make schools unsafe. Too often, the behavior problems push kids to retaliate with violence and self-destruction.
BLOG POST #206: This week, I’m sharing research on ways to make schools safer that don’t include changing gun laws.
It’s time to stop studying school violence and start doing something about eliminating it. I’m not arguing for or against gun rights. I’m pointing out that asking for gun law reform to reduce school violence isn’t working.
Feasible Security/Safety Measures
According to the National Institute of Justice, nearly 100% of schools serving children between the ages of 12-18 use at least one of the following safety/security measures:
- Locking doors
- Security cameras
- Hallway supervision
- Controlled building access
- Locker checks
- Metal detectors
Why aren’t schools using all the above safety/security measures? It’s simple—money. It’s a step in the right direction if your child’s school has more than one improvement to security.
Why Not Metal Detectors?
Many parents oppose metal detectors because they don’t want schools to look like prisons. Nobody equates the security at an airport or at a court house as prison-like. Most people appreciate the extra safety measures.
Before schools could use metal detectors as a standard screening tool, there would be some difficulties to work out. The time it would take to funnel people through would be at the top of the list. However, these obstacles can be worked out.
Sure students, could arrive early just like we do at airports because of the added safety measures. I can already hear the naysayers asking what they are supposed to do with the early birds after they’ve been screened and before classes begin. Students could do extra work to improve their grades, get tutoring, read for pleasure (love this idea!), etc.
Technology In Schools
Schools can make technological improvements. At the least, schools should have security cameras with someone on the other end watching the feeds. Here are two great resources explaining ways technology can make schools safer. Yes, it will cost money—your children are worth it.
Inaccurate School Violence Reporting
As you’ll read in the provided resources, school violence is under-reported by schools. If it were accurately reported, certain schools might look less desirable to parents. A high rate of violence can fluctuate based on location, socioeconomic status, and lackadaisical disciplinary follow-through.
Currently, no federal money is allocated to schools for bullying prevention. If there were, maybe schools would be able to do more than one safety/security measure on the above list. They might be able to hire additional counselors or implement intervention programs for bullying.
There are other methods for discipline at school that can help reduce school violence. This week, on social media, I shared my post on Restorative Justice, where students participate in a peacemaking system. Imagine a bully facing a panel of peers to justify his/her bullying behavior.
What are your thoughts about this subject? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.
Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.
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Source: National Institute of Justice, Rand Corporation