Properly Trained School Security Guards
- By Ginger Hill
- Mar 02, 2015
Some school districts choose to include security guards or campus monitors in their overall security plan as an additional layer of security. Additional eyes, ears, hands and able-bodied people are a great asset for any organization that is responsible for the well-being of children. But, do you know if the security guards at your local schools are properly trained?
School security guards typically don’t carry weapons, and sometimes they don’t even wear uniforms. Their main job duty is to keep watch over students and constantly be on the lookout for dangerous situations. Sounds logical and easy enough, but training in some states is a requirement, and probably should be a requirement in all states as it takes specialized knowledge to properly and effectively interact and engage with all students. For example, during a lockdown, effectively communicating with a developmentally-challenged student will differ from the communication used with a child who is not developmentally-challenged.
In California, for example, all school security officers employed with a school district for more than 20 hours per week must complete SB 1626 training, a developed curriculum of 24 hours. During the training, school security officers learn:
- Their role and responsibilities;
- Laws and liability;
- Security awareness specific to an educational environment;
- Mediation and conflict resolution;
- Disasters and emergencies; and
- Dynamics of student behavior.
The training concludes with an exam to demonstrate that the future school security guard has a basic understanding and awareness of security. However, local station KCRA 3 conducted an investigation, revealing that this required training is sometimes over looked. As an example, at Twin Rivers School District, in McClellan Park, CA, KCRA found that almost half of their 22 security officers were working without the required training.
As soon as Twin Rivers School District Police Chief Harvey Woo found out though, the proper steps were taken to correct the situation. But, that isn’t to say that if Twin Rivers wasn’t found to be in non-compliance that the correction would ever take place. This is because no one from the state of California checks for school security guard training compliance. In fact, it doesn’t even require school districts to keep records of their security training, even though it is recommended by the Department of Consumer Affairs. Nonetheless, Twin Rivers School District had their entire staff of guards take the 24-hour course, whether they had previously taken it or not.
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.