Father Knows Best When it Comes to School Security
- By Ginger Hill
- Mar 06, 2013
I think as a society we have always been concerned with school security, wanting students to not only feel safe, but to actually be safe. However, with such tragedies that we have seen in our schools, from Sandy Hook Elementary to Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. to the University of Texas clock tower shootings, people are seeing the need for heightened security measures in all American schools.
In Windsor, Colo., at the Weld Re-4 School District, a unique security program was created that uses dad power to increase safety and security on their school campuses. This program, called “Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students),” is a group of dad volunteers who make their presence known on campus by walking around and keeping watch over the school.
Matt Schildt and Jerry Price have been a part of the group for a couple of years, but after the tragedies in Newtown, Conn., both are dedicating more time to this program. Not only are these superstar dads volunteering in the classroom and playing games with the children during recess, but both Schlidt and Price arrive at the school around 7:30am - rain, shine, snow, or wind - and leave around 9:00am, giving them time to greet parents and children at the door and to walk the perimeter of the campus.
“Just getting involved with the kids has been great,” Price said. “It’s amazing. When you walk into the lunchroom, they all want to give you high fives or call you by name. It’s like you’re a role model, in a sense. Almost like a superhero.”
But while these students see the dads on campus as “superheroes,” they are serving a much needed purpose…to help deter negative incidents. One principal in the district stated, “We want them to be active and very visible,” which leads to more safety and security on school campuses.
As a professional in the security industry and an ex-teacher, the issue of school security is near and dear to my heart. On a daily basis, I see tools, products, software, apps, etc. created to enhance the safety of our schools, and it delights me to know people are taking this issue seriously. But, there is something to say about the presence of dads on a school campus.
Today, more than 2,659 active programs in 46 states participate in the WATCH D.O.G.S. Program. For more information about starting this program at your child’s school, please click here.
Watch D.O.G.S. In Action
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.