Make Your School Safer with Tech

Since 2002, law enforcement officers have trained communities across America in ADD (Avoid, Deny, Defend) responses to active threat situations. The training is useful and practical. People should learn how to respond safely in life-threatening conditions.

However, in the seventeen years since this program began, nearly 300 learners have lost their lives at school due to gunfire. Not all of these deaths were related to mass shootings. Some were the result of arguments, and others stemmed from gang violence.

There may be no hot-topic more controversial than gun control, but that’s something best saved for another post. We need to focus on what we can do now to keep our schools safe. We may even have the protection tools at our fingertips.

Schools need to incorporate tech that keeps learners and educators safe from any threat.

Safety Systems in Use

There are already safety-oriented technologies available for school use. Some tech systems monitor everything from your buildings to your social media presence. Others track campus visitors or allow for both anonymous reporting and mass messaging.

Are these school safety tech systems enough? The answer is yes if they work the way they were designed. Most safety apps depend on users reporting any dangerous behaviors they see. Unfortunately, most times, learners won’t call out friends or acquaintances to report suspicious behavior. They recognize the warning signs but don’t speak up.

Schools and parents have a responsibility to teach learners how to identify serious threats. Emergencies include:

·       Inflicting pain, injury, or death

·       Running away

·       Damaging property

Anyone making a threat who has a track record of deviant behavior or who exhibits signs of mental illness must be reported to the school administration. Apathy or hesitation could mean the difference between life and death.

Tech can make these reporting decisions quicker and more accurately than the best-informed learners and educators.

The Safety Tech We Need

To keep schools safe, we need more than a single safety device. We must have layers of safety tech.

Although we must teach our learners when and how to report safety threats, we must provide them with a safe and anonymous system. We can also install security cameras in all public areas of the school. Facial recognition software can improve safety. It scans faces throughout the day, and it can instantly identify someone who does not belong at the campus. The same software can also “read” emotions and report the learner or adult wearing a suspicious or out-of-place look on their face.

Additionally, schools must make use of emergency notification software. Messages can be pushed out on desktops and smartphones, giving educators time to gather learners and shelter in place. Two-way messaging systems allow educators to report which learners may have stepped away from the classroom before an alert was sent out.

No kid should be exposed to violence in school. When danger does threaten, layers of safety tech can improve the likelihood of remaining safe. 

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