ASIS Session Raises Awareness About Common School Security Issues

Education security is a concern and a necessity. During day one at ASIS Monday, an educational session about school security sparked some interesting discussion.

The session titled, "School Security Used to Be So Easy!" raised awareness about common security incidents affecting children and ways administrators, teachers and parents can help prevent or spot the signs of threats in the school system. Threats ranged from student sexting to video surveillance on campuses.

Four panelists presented information on threats on school campuses that students cause upon one another, the first two -- sexting and cyberbullying prompted school officials and law enforcement to coin the new term bullicide. Cell phone use on school campus is causing students to bring their personal lives onto school grounds. Now, some school administrators are drafting conditions for cell phone use stating any student with a cell phone on his/her person is granting parental consent to a search.

Another issue for discussion was the increase in child abuse incidents. According to the Prevent Child Abuse America, there are close to one million confirmed victims of child abuse each year.

The panelists proposed training teachers and school administrators by defining signs of abuse and neglect for employees to follow, along with child abuse reporting procedures and the investigative process. The security concerns for school officials reporting child abuse is the student hunting for the person who reported the incident with the intent to seek revenge. Along with child abuse investigation, school officials need the proper training relating to alcohol and drugs, custody battles, sex offenders, child runaways and students dealing with parental divorce.

Ways schools can monitor student activity and spot any threats to student safety is by using video surveillance as a proactive tool rather than reactive. When it comes to video surveillance, the more pixels don't always equal the best image, although this has been the assumption in the past. However, the more pixel density, the more under angles a camera can attempt. Panelists proposed a corridor format, which enables more pixels on target, creating a clearer image.

One camera that will heighten security is the H.264, it allows for a paradigm shift to maintain status quo, while decreasing cost and increasing situational awareness. Security onboard school buses, now has school officials investigating the use of bus-mounted H.264 surveillance systems with local storage; enabled with wireless technology.

Students now use social media everyday and in the school system, Facebook security should also be a priority. School officials should disable Geotags and enforce ICE systems.

Overall, the educational session was informative and provided insight on the current security landscape plaguing the school system. Technology is a double-edged sword. It is advancing at an exceptional rate, but users need to be cautious of how they use it.

About the Author

Christina Miralla is the associate content editor at 1105 Media, Inc.

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