While an uneasy subject to discuss sometimes, safety in schools has declined in recent years. Therefore, maintaining safe school environments with security guards is a realistic and practical solution.
Unfortunately, parents and guardians can’t keep a watchful eye on children all day long. In theory, a school should be a safe haven for children, but multiple incidents have shown that this isn’t always so. In recent decades, crime in the school environment has skyrocketed.
Educators and administrators seeking ways to make schools safer would do well to consider increasing security presence with hired guards. However, many are unsure how to do this.
This blog will explore the effectiveness of armed guards in schools, what you can expect from them, and other ways to keep your school safe.
Keeping Our Schools Safe with School Security Guards
Safety needs within American schools are constantly evolving, and adapting to present-day concerns requires asking whether or not a school needs a security guard or guards.
While teachers, administrators, and other school employees focus on providing a better learning experience for children, security guards can help foster a safer environment.
Besides giving educators and employees more time and energy to focus on their daily tasks, armed guards in schools are becoming the norm for several reasons. Emergency readiness drills and procedures are more common due to rising school crime rates. It can be hard for students to concentrate while worrying about their safety.
The presence of guards can ease these fears. Safe school environments with security guards allow students to focus better on their studies and explore their personalities, creativity, and innovation.
Safety & Security Benefits of Using Armed Guards
Safe school environments with security guards offer these six main benefits:
- Preventing Violence and Bullying in Schools
Violence and bullying still occur in schools today, with cases becoming more aggressive. Even minor bullying can affect a child’s growth and ability to learn. While security guards can’t prevent every bullying issue, they can reduce bullying overall.
Monitoring situations and preventing them from escalating is a crucial responsibility for school security guards. For example, a minor case of bullying, like name-calling, can quickly transform into violence. Trained security guards can prevent these more aggressive incidents.
- Proactive and Preventative Measures Through Observation
Many children are afraid to tell authorities they’re dealing with a bully. Instead, it’s not uncommon for children to become reserved, socially withdrawn, and depressed, seemingly with no explanation.
These issues can manifest in unfortunate situations that harm the child and those around them. However, a security guard can observe these problems and implement proactive and preventative measures.
- Can Help in Emergency Situations
Besides bullying or acts of violence, accidents, and emergencies can happen anytime, including:
- Harm during recess or P.E.
- Medical concerns specific to a child
Sometimes these incidents may only result in temporary injuries that heal quickly. Other times, however, injuries can result in life-threatening concerns. While every school should have nurses onboard, stationed security guards can take action right where an incident occurs. School security guard requirements often include knowing how to perform CPR. Additionally, security guards typically receive first aid training.
- Prevent Strangers Without Authorized Access from Entering the School
Besides preventing bullies from traumatizing or harming another student, security guards also work to keep unauthorized strangers from gaining access to a school or campus.
Unfortunately, not every campus has the best security, and strangers can sometimes enter a school’s premises. Regardless of their intention, unauthorized strangers have no place on school grounds. A security guard can assist by:
- Ensuring all visitors to the school follow the proper procedures and school safety guidelines.
- Ensuring every person who enters a school has a specific reason for visiting and is authorized.
- Turning away any person not permitted on a school’s premises and de-escalating the situation if necessary.
- They Can Assist Teachers and Other School, Employees
Teachers and other school employees often know of or witness issues like bullying requiring extra help. A teacher might feel overwhelmed trying to handle a severe case of bullying or a similar incident. To ease the burden, a security guard can step in and resolve the problem.
Additionally, a teacher may have potential concerns and can notify a guard to monitor a student or area closely. With their training, the guard may notice something others didn’t.
- Check Students for Any Weapons
As recent decades suggest, school shootings are becoming an uncomfortable reality for schools. The effectiveness of armed guards in schools is partly because they prevent school shootings or other acts of violence.
Armed security guards can check a student’s bookbag for weapons like guns and knives. They can also quickly call for reinforcements if the situation warrants it. Schools with security guards are more prepared.
Additional Read: Signs That It’s Time For Your Business to Hire a Security Company
How Would a Security Guard Handle an Active Shooter?
Ideally, safe school environments with security guards mean a scenario like an active shooter doesn’t occur. A security guard’s most crucial responsibility is to prevent an active shooter from posing a threat by removing weapons, stopping bullying, etc.
However, if an active shooter or shooters do enter the building, a security guard’s responsibilities would include the following:
- Clearing students, teachers, and employees from the building
- Contacting the necessary emergency services, including police and EMTs
- Potentially engaging with an active shooter
It’s important to note that not all security guards are trained to engage directly with live shooters. Instead, they often prioritize getting students and staff members to safety and contacting the necessary authorities.
Do Schools Require Armed Security Guards or Teachers?
There’s always a risk of students bringing firearms or other weapons to school. Besides students, outside parties can also try entering a school to cause harm.
There’s debate regarding whether armed security guards are the solution or whether it would be better to arm teachers. However, issues can arise when it comes to arming teachers, namely:
Lacking the Necessary Qualifications and Experience
Under the Second Amendment, most U.S. citizens have the legal right to bear arms. However, many states have specific laws requiring citizens to obtain a permit or license to carry a firearm. Some teachers won’t have this qualification.
Alongside qualifications, there’s the issue of experience. There’s a big difference between hunting or going to the shooting range and dealing with an active shooter. While some teachers, especially ones with a military background, might feel confident handling the situation, most teachers won’t have the necessary experience even if they know how to shoot a gun.
Many People See It as Not Being a Teacher’s Responsibility
Many argue that asking a teacher to carry a firearm is unfair. A teacher’s primary goal is to educate; having a gun can detract from this purpose.
Another possible disadvantage is that potential educators might be less likely to apply for a teaching career. Arming teachers involves potential educators:
- Having the right qualifications for carrying a firearm
- Having enough experience
- Being comfortable handling one, especially in a dire situation
Many may not want to take on this responsibility. Instead, a school can subcontract its security to armed and trained guards who know how and are willing to handle these concerns.
Other Ways for Establishing Emergency Planning and Preparation
Alongside fostering safe school environments with security guards, there are other ways to keep students and teachers safe. Some examples are:
- Implementing various programs: The Office of Safe and Healthy Students strives to prevent violence and drug usage in schools. This division helps provide funding and planning for activities and programs nationwide that help keeps kids safe.
- Establishing close relationships with teachers and parents: Violence in children can have many external factors, including trouble at home or bullying. Building close relationships with teachers and parents can identify at-risk youth.
- CCTV/Video Surveillance: The latest CCTV and video surveillance technology can help identify suspicious behavior. Additionally, video surveillance can sometimes be enough of a deterrent for students or outside parties.
- High-security systems: Having school entrances, exits, classrooms, etc., armed with high-functioning key or keyless systems can keep intruders out. They can even help keep students safe if an active shooter does enter a school’s premises.
Keep Your School Safe with Help From Stark Security
The classroom should be a place where a child can learn and develop into the adult they want to be. Unfortunately, the threat of bullying, active shooters, unwanted strangers, etc., can be very detrimental to learning.
At Stark Security Inc., we help create safe school environments with security guards and other security measures. We believe in preserving property and human lives. Our founder has over 27 years of experience in corporate leadership and a decade in law enforcement.
Keep your school safe by calling Stark Security Inc today at 1-877-70STARK (78275)!