Physical Security: Schools Need to Prioritize It


Schools are being relatively lax on enforcing physical security measures.

A recent Harris poll has revealed something disturbing. Schools are being relatively lax on enforcing physical security measures. Crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-present specter of school shootings have led to an all-time-high level of fear and dread for when school campuses can reopen as normal. Weapons screening is going to be the building block of this new strategy, but it needs to be prioritized in order to reach its full potential. 

More About the Harris Poll

The Harris Poll itself was commissioned by the website Security Today. In the poll, over 700 parents of K-12-age children were surveyed; 87% of the parents reported that they were fearful of their kids being exposed to the virus upon going back to school. Unfortunately, this dread was compounded by continuing anxiety over the various levels of physical security that are already in place

Covid Measures Meet Physical Security Challenges 

COVID-19 prevention measures are becoming increasingly important. When you consider how the second wave has coincided with the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, the typical cold and flu season is even scarier than usual this year. All schools should be mandated to follow guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. the following measures are considered high-priority: 

  • Frequent handwashing and sanitizing;
  • Increased cleaning;
  • Mask wearing;
  • Social distancing;
  • And temperature screening

Likewise, conventional physical security measures were also pushed to the forefront. In this case, these defense mechanisms were as follows: 

  1. Locking doors and requiring visitor IDs (92%);
  2. Presence of law enforcement or school resource officers (92%);
  3. All classrooms equipped with door locks (91%);
  4. Metal detectors for weapon screening (91%)

Violence in Public Spaces

Fear of violence in public spaces has always been a concern. However, with the prevailing atmosphere of paranoia, prejudice, and outrage all melting together, brazen acts of violence have become more prevalent than ever before. Such fears are tied to incidents involving street protests connected to civil unrest, common street crime, and massive events such as terrorist attacks. 

Hesitation about Metal Detectors 

The deployment of metal detectors has been a common sight in high-traffic areas such as schools, airports, and transportation hubs. However, with the pandemic still overwhelming society, there has been an increased level of hesitation towards the implementation of metal detectors as a way to boost physical security. That’s because of concerns about long lines, student belongings being touched and passed from hand to hand, and yes, even human error. 

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2020 at 12:20 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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