School Security Is No Longer Optional
As news continues to stream across social media platforms and television hosts share devastating news, the latest Michigan shootings are leading Americans to demand school security. What began as an ideal is now seen as more of a mandate by parents, teachers, and school administrators. School boards and parent advisory groups are being inundated with requests for security at every campus, not just elementary and high schools. Universities have been the target, and school events seem to invite criminals. The short of it is that without enough trained security, students and attendees will be at risk. School districts and city resources are being diverted to school security. With such a great need, schools are turning to reliable private security to bring safety to school campuses across the nation.
Security Guards Provide Peace of Mind to the School Community
Contrary to what many think about school security, the highly trained men and women who serve in these roles take their responsibility incredibly seriously and recognize they have the added responsibility of serving as role models to younger people. It is more common for security guards to get to know students by their names and even ask about their families. Students often confide in and enjoy the company of someone in uniform, feeling safe while also feeling an authority figure is personally invested in their education.
When a private security officer is hired to work on a school campus, they will be fully vetted with background checks and stringent standards of performance in other security roles. When it comes to the younger population, any investment we make in their safety and security is worth it. It brings peace of mind to parents, teachers, and staff that the students are being watched over and suspicious behaviors are being addressed immediately. Because universities are not closed campuses, having multiple security professionals working to cover more areas is more efficient and offers greater security coverage. Other options are to have mobile units with a designed station where students can come in an emergency or for help.
Public schools between elementary and high school are closed campuses, so security guards can quickly identify someone who is not supposed to be on campus and get them removed or restrain them if necessary. Administrators and teachers have enough on their plates, and it will soon be standard to have private security guards patrolling campuses throughout the school day and for after-school activities and events.
Security Guards Provide Expertise in Emergency Preparedness
Our nation has worked diligently to have students prepare for emergencies as a regular part of the schedule. It has been shown that knowing what to do in an emergency and practicing it can save lives. Although training and practicing have immense value, nothing beats having someone designated to take the lead in an actual emergency. Whether a medical or another emergency, getting the right equipment, communicating with emergency services, and confidently leading an evacuation can’t be valued.
Students tend to listen to those in uniform and naturally have more respect for someone serving in a security guard position. Instead of asking staff and teachers to step up and take on this critical role in an emergency, having highly trained security personnel prepared is the only way to ensure student safety. The confidence that comes from expert backgrounds and training equips men and women security guards to act confidently and do whatever it takes to provide the highest level of protection to students on school campuses everywhere.
Security Presence Helps Students Feel Safe to Return
Any student, teacher, or staff who has lived through a violent act on campus will struggle to return to school. There is no other way to make them feel safe than to have security guards present on campus. Although it will still take time and healing, schools should incorporate security into their budget as a standard line item from now on. School campuses will have a more challenging time moving forward until this becomes normal and school violence begins to decline. School-aged children, especially those in high school and college, have many stressors in their lives, and ensure that changing or sudden shifts in student body behavior are noted and addressed before it becomes a problem. On-campus security can also help minimize illegal and unwanted behavior at school events.
Whether you are a parent, student, teacher, administrator, or school board member, it is your responsibility to speak up and demand safety on school campuses. If you are responsible for budgeting, make room for essential security, and do not stop until you find a reputable and affordable security solution. Off Duty Officers, Inc. is a nationwide security personnel provider that works with hundreds of schools to provide top-notch safety for everyone on campus.
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