Inequality in School Security

Inequality in School Security

You and I both could literally name hundreds of security products ranging in price and objectives solved that schools are deploying to make their campus safer. It seems there is no balance, though, when it comes to every school in American having access to the same types of security products, which is a bit disheartening. The following illustrates the end of both spectrums: one where money is no object and one where apparently money is a huge issue.

When students, faculty, staff and visitors walk into DuBois Area High School, they can expect the same security scene as any U.S. airport. Metal detectors line the entrance way, acting as a barrier to entry, searching for weapons such as guns, knives or sharp instruments. The good news at the school, however, is the wait time – the process takes less than 30 minutes for over 1,000 students to pass through with enough time to arrive at first period class without being tardy. (Wish I could say the same for airports. I wonder how many missed flights are due to long waits in the security line?)

The five detectors are manned by staff and school police officers with the goal of ruling out any possible weapons to keep students, staff and visitors safe.

Janice Bart, officer in charge, said that she could think of no better way of using the funds considering the age of the high school building. She also noted that the school’s security plan includes:

  • Safety screeners;
  • Investment of time;
  • A proper plan based on the uniqueness of the campus; and
  • Hard work.

The story at Tupelo Public School District is quite different. The school board recently voted to authorize the 18 school security officers to carry pepper spray during the upcoming school year. These officers are state-certified employees stationed at various campuses throughout the district. (Deploying a chemical agent versus a metal detector? Wow! It’s easy to see the huge difference in school security budgets just by analyzing the “technology” that a campus uses.)

This district requested that the Mississippi Department of Education’s Division of Safe and Orderly Schools conduct a safety and facilities assessment to identify areas of improvement. One of the recommendations was allowing security officers to carry pepper spray, which gives them another resource to use to maintain orderly conduct and safety, especially when there are large crowds, at athletic events, for example. And, because the school district is holding the officers accountable, the proper resources must be made available to do their job.

The officers will carry small canisters of pepper spray and all have attended training that includes each one getting sprayed to fully understand the chemical’s effect. This will encourage the officers to only use it when absolutely necessary.

The top priority is safety for students, faculty and staff.

Both schools have the exact same goal: safety for all; however, what is not equal is the budgets to achieve this goal. Will each school in America ever have equality when it comes to security budgets? After all, we owe it to our children to give them all an equally safe education.

About the Author

Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.

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

  • Survey: Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

  • Mobile Applications Are Empowering Security Personnel

    From real-time surveillance and access control management to remote monitoring and communications, a new generation of mobile applications is empowering security personnel to protect people and places. Mobile applications for physical security systems are emerging as indispensable tools to enhance safety. They also offer many features that are reshaping how modern security professionals approach their work. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • Camden CV-7600 High Security Card Readers

    Camden CV-7600 High Security Card Readers

    Camden Door Controls has relaunched its CV-7600 card readers in response to growing market demand for a more secure alternative to standard proximity credentials that can be easily cloned. CV-7600 readers support MIFARE DESFire EV1 & EV2 encryption technology credentials, making them virtually clone-proof and highly secure. 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

  • Compact IP Video Intercom

    Viking’s X-205 Series of intercoms provide HD IP video and two-way voice communication - all wrapped up in an attractive compact chassis. 3