Six Tips for a Safer School

As students head back to the classroom, a leading school security expert reminds parents of school-age children they can play an important role in helping assure prevention measures are implemented in their child's school. Patrick Fiel, former security chief for Washington, D.C. schools and now a school safety expert for ADT Security Services, said parents can be as influential as school board members, superintendents, principals and teachers in helping prevent violence in schools.

"Parents, who are also taxpayers and voters, have the power to effect change if they are willing to become involved both individually and collectively," he said. "All members of the education community -- including parents -- need to be involved in helping provide a safe and secure environment where children can learn without fear."

To help parents become more involved in securing school campuses, Fiel has a list of six steps they can follow.

1. Talk to your children about school security. Kids are very tuned into what happens on their campuses. They know where there are weak spots in the security plans. Ask them about the security drills or other emergency procedures in place at their school. Also talk to them about resolving conflicts in a peaceful, nonviolent manner and about immediately reporting to school officials any threatening talk or behavior from other students.

2. Visit your child's campus and talk with an administrator about the security plan. Among other things, find out how visitors can enter the campus. Ask if the doors are regularly locked. Check to see if the campus has cameras monitoring entries, hallways and common areas. Ask if the school has a plan in place for handling an armed person on campus.

3. Educate yourself on the plans, procedures and technologies working well at other schools. Contact the National Crime Prevention Council http://www.ncpc.org for a copy of the Caregivers' Guide to Safety and Security and School Safety and Security Toolkit: A Guide for Parents, Schools and Communities.

4. Get to know the law enforcement officials assigned to your child's school. Find out when they are on campus and what their responsibilities include. If your child's school does not have a regularly assigned law enforcement official, work with the school to make that happen.

5. Join other parents who may also be concerned about the security of their children. Become involved in the PTA or PTO and start a security committee if one does not already exist. Ask school officials to meet regularly with the group and report on security/safety incidents and continuing plans to keep the campus safe. Be an active participant by asking questions.

6. Do not keep firearms easily accessible in your home. If you have weapons in your house make sure that they are kept locked and secured. Report a missing or stolen firearm to police immediately. Teach children respect for the devastation that can occur when weapons get into the wrong hands or are used improperly.

"School administrators and teachers cannot be expected to solve the problems of school violence alone," said Fiel. "Parents have to share the burden. By talking with their children, keeping informed, working with other parents, school administrators and law enforcement officials, parents can play a vital role in keeping their children safe at school."

More information about the security solutions ADT provides for schools is available by visiting http://www.adt.com. ADT also offers a free school security assessment by calling (877) 258-6421

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • The Power of a Layered Approach to Safety

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown. Read Now

  • How a Security System Can Enhance Arena Safety and the Fan Experience

    Ensuring guests have both a memorable experience and a safe one is no small feat for your physical security team. Stadiums, ballparks, arenas, and other large event venues are increasingly leveraging new technologies to transform the fan experience and maintain a high level of security. The goal is to preserve the integrity and excitement of the event while enhancing security and remaining “behind the scenes.” Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • EasyGate SPT and SPD

    EasyGate SPT SPD

    Security solutions do not have to be ordinary, let alone unattractive. Having renewed their best-selling speed gates, Cominfo has once again demonstrated their Art of Security philosophy in practice — and confirmed their position as an industry-leading manufacturers of premium speed gates and turnstiles. 3

  • Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation.

    Connect ONE®

    Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation. 3

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3