Rethinking School Campus Shootings Before They Happen
A school campus shooting is something no one ever wants to face—and yet, it’s critical now for every school official to actively think about them.
Most school districts already have a security plan in place, but many of these plans are being questioned and challenged. For the 2015-2016 school year, the median total school district expenditure for custodial services was $259 per student, while the median total expenditure for safety and security was only $88 per 1,000 students.* This number may seem astoundingly low, considering that, since 2013, there have been more than 300 school campus shootings in the U.S.**
While school campus shootings have become increasingly frequent, they can still be extremely difficult to predict. Why is that?
“Usually, terroristic acts are motivated by one of three things: profit, passion or pain,” explained a senior executive at U.S. Security Associates (USA). “School shooters obviously are not motivated by profit, so that leaves passion and pain. You’re typically dealing with individuals who have lost the capacity to reason.”
In the face of the recent epidemic, USA suggests there are three things school officials can do now to help stop crises before they happen:
- Active monitoring: Officials and security personnel can’t be everywhere at once, so it may be difficult or impossible to know what’s happening in every corner of the school. However, teachers should be aware of their students’ behavior. What conversations are students having? Has a student shown rapid or sudden changes? Being intuitive can help teachers and other staff make decisions that prevent dangerous situations.
- Understanding the risks: Knowing your school’s vulnerabilities and how to respond to them is key. A comprehensive service like USA’s four-pronged Risk and Threat Assessment can help. The Risk and Threat Assessment provides insights into the following:
- Community social dynamics
- High-risk profile types
- Potential threat types
- Response tactics
- Implementing deterrents: Schools can protect their facilities using numerous methods, and USA uses the initial Risk and Threat Assessment to determine which solutions are best for an individual school. One of the most effective solutions is a professionally-trained Security Officer specifically dedicated to your school. The Officer offers a constant presence, develops rapport with students and staff, and can assist in functions such as locker inspections and safety equipment compliance checks. Read a case study here about how USA’s Security Officers are protecting a school district in South Carolina.
When you’re ready to hire professional school security, make sure you’re getting the most trusted name in safety solutions, proven in school districts around the country. Contact USA and get started today.
*Source: Council of the Great City Schools, Managing for Results in America’s Great City Schools 2017