The Eyes and Ears of Students are the Keys to Campus Safety
- By Ginger Hill
- Sep 08, 2015
As the old teacher saying goes, “A child doesn’t care how much you know until he/she knows how much you care,” the same is true for security. If a child doesn’t have a feeling of total safety and security while at school, they are not going to learn because they don’t feel comfortable. In response to this logic, a school district in California is taking relationship building to heart.
Every campus within the Redlands Unified School District is well-equipped with a public address system and surveillance cameras pushing live feeds to the local police department. This system also enables the police department to talk to someone on campus when needed. And, the school even has metal detectors, but they are not in use because school officials know that if a student or adult wanted to get something on campus, they would find a way. So, what’s Redlands’ “secret sauce” when it comes to security? Six well-trained safety and security officers who work hard to build relationships with students which effectively keeps them safe.
Most of the time, students know ahead of time when something bad may happen based on typical middle school and high school gossip and talk. This is where having a relationship with students is critical. If students feel comfortable, like the adults are there to support them, they are more likely to come and tell what’s going on. This enables school officials, teachers and staff the opportunity to be in the know and then act appropriately to keep students as well as themselves safe.
Other security measures are in place as well. In fact, all students frequently participate in disaster, fire and lockdown drills while security personnel and staff participate in active shooter drills with the help of the local police and sheriff’s departments. Security officers also carry radios that are connected directly to the local police department.
However, with all the security equipment and other measures in place, the best tools for monitoring what comes on campus is the eyes and ears of the student body; therefore, the key is for adults to build a trusting relationship with students. And, in turn, students will often tell an adult when another student is not acting right or has a weapon on campus, for example. After all, kids seek safety and security, too.
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.