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security in schools

Security in Schools

Reuben Mills

Chuck Puchon

Gary Quigley

Jonathan Walsh



Major Components and Tasks for Creating a Safe/Connected School Climate

• Assessment of the school’s emotional climate

• Emphasis on the importance of listening in schools

• Adoption of a strong, but caring stance against the code of silence

• Prevention of, and intervention in, bullying

• Involvement of all members of the school community in planning, creating,

and sustaining a school culture of safety and respect

• Development of trusting relationships between each student and at least one adult at school

• Creation of mechanisms for developing and sustaining safe school climates.

foundations of a school security plan
Foundations of a School Security Plan
  • “It can’t happen here!” (West Nickel Mine School, Virginia Tech, Columbine)
  • Michael Chertoff, Director of the Dept. of Homeland Security, “ In a free and open society, we simply cannot protect every person against every risk at every moment and in every place. There is no perfect security.” (Wall Street Journal, 2/14/2006)
  • Transportation Security Administration is on the forefront of layered security in airports.
foundations of a school security plan1
Foundations of a School Security Plan
  • Five Building Blocks of a Layered School Security Plan
    • Access Control
    • Visitor Management
    • Video Surveillance
    • Emergency Response Plan
    • Mass Notification and Alerting
visitor management3
Visitor Management


Provides Security checks on all visitors

- School can program specific concerns and needs

- Messaging system that sends text messages or notifications to security of a positive security scan


- Confidentiality Issues among school staff

- All staff need to be clear on School Policy and State and Federal Laws

See a Visitor Management System in Action (North Carolina)

cv schools take high tech approach to security
CV Schools Take High-Tech Approach to Security
  •  Wed March 04, 2009 - Silver Spring Twp
  • ABC 27 News -
  • The Cumberland Valley School District is the first in the country to install "school gate guardian" software.
  • Visitors will be required to show some form of 'state' identification.
  • Staff will check the 'id' against the registered sex offender database and look for red flags, including protection-from-abuse orders. 
  • Everyone coming into schools--including staff--will be checked at least once. "We felt it's time to use technology to assist us in attempting to monitor and control and manage visitors as they attempt to gain access to our schools," said Don Brink, the district's Director of Security.
  • The software will cost about $4,000 for each school. Brink hopes to have it installed district-wide over the next several months.
visitor management4
Visitor Management
  • For More Information
    • SchoolGate Guardian –
    • Lobby Guard -
    • Touch Mate / School Defender -
    • Raptor Software -
  • Closed-circuit television
  • 1 person monitoring a CCTV sees more than 10 people on foot
  • Price has dropped in last 5 years
  • Color monitors cheaper than black and white
cctv capabilities
CCTV capabilities
  • From rooftop, administrator can zoom in and get license plate numbers
  • Weather-resistant domes
  • Cameras automatically switch from color monitoring during day to light-sensitive mono-chrome at night
  • Districts save money by producing clear images w/ low light (do not need to install additional lighting)
cctv is a tapeless system
CCTV is a tapeless system
  • Display video and record high resolution pictures on a hard drive
  • Eliminate cost and headaches of VCR taping
  • Provide instant access to critical recordings
  • Use simple keystrokes to locate images by alarm, time, date or camera number
  • Images retrieved on demand
  • Monitoring can be made to authorized personnel anywhere in the district via their computer
school districts using cct v
School Districts using CCT V
  • New Britain High School
    • Connecticut’s largest high school
    • District has 63 cameras (47 inside)
    • Pan-tilt cameras capture anywhere that anyone can go on campus
    • System is tied to 2 police cruisers
    • High asset rooms (computer lab, nurse, etc.) have cameras fitted w/ motion sensors
    • If someone enters unauthorized, cameras begin recording
    • District is saving $200,000 dollars annually in vandalism expenses.
school districts using cctv
School Districts using CCTV
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools
    • 4th largest district in the country
    • 120 cameras placed around the campus
    • 34 % drop in the 19 serious incident categories
    • 62% drop in aggravated assault
    • 72 % drop in weapon-related incidents
emergency response plan1
Emergency Response Plan
  • The information provided comes from the Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter High School.
  • P. E. & T. Charter H.S. is located at 15th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia, PA.
emergency response plan2
Emergency Response Plan
  • Schools have a high-density human population
  • This concentration of people brings opportunities and possibilities of the unexpected, the difficult, and the unusual
  • There is no substitute for good judgment, clear thinking, calm and reason.
emergency response plan3
Emergency Response Plan
  • Schools have plans that address the following situations:
    • Bomb threats
    • Dealing with death/suicide
    • Emergency care of ill or injured groups
    • Firearms/weapons/dangerous instruments in school
    • Fire/explosion
    • Hazardous Materials
    • Hostage/Terrorist situation
    • Important telephone numbers
    • Kidnapping/missing student
    • Nuclear emergencies
    • Severe weather
    • Suspicious persons
responsibilities of principal
Responsibilities of Principal
  • Remain in command center and manage crisis
  • Direct 911 to be called
  • Declare a Code Red (respond or no respond)
  • Direct school bells to be turned off
  • Brief police, fire and emergency medical personnel
responsibilities of principal cont
Responsibilities of Principal (cont.)
  • Establish the crisis management team.
    • The team shall advise the principal and provide a support team to deal with the emotional needs of students, staff and parents.
  • Hold a debriefing meeting immediately following the end of the crisis situation with everyone involved in the crisis.
    • Review the facts and evaluate response
responsibilities of principal cont1
Responsibilities of Principal (cont.)
  • Make every effort to communicate with parents as quickly as possible after the conclusion of a crisis situation.
    • Accurate information is essential.
code red general procedures
Code Red-General Procedures
  • A Code Red is declared when a situation exists that threatens the safety of students and staff and requires that they remain in their classrooms.
  • An announcement will be made in one of two ways:
    • Code Red – Respond
    • Code Red – No Response
      • No one moves.
  • Check restrooms during crisis.
  • If class is outside when a Code Red is declared go to the furthest part of the school property.
code red general procedures1
Code Red – General Procedures
  • Classroom Teachers Responsibilities during Code Red – No Response
    • Prevent students from leaving their class for any reason and guide students who are in the hallways into the classroom
    • Students in the hallways shall be instructed to report to the nearest classroom.
    • Secure the area (Lock Classroom Doors and Windows). Turn off all lights.
    • Do not close blinds or shades other than the classroom door window.
    • Move students away from the door where their presence would not be visible from the hallway.
    • Take attendance and maintain silence at all times
code red general procedures2
Code Red – General Procedures
  • Classroom teachers responsibilities during Code Red – No Response (cont.)
    • Disregard all school bells and wait for instructions from the principal/designee or police/fire personal.
    • If available, turn on the television and turn off the volume.
    • Await dismissal by the appropriate authority. You may receive instructions to vacate the room by individual class. Take student roll book and/or class list with you.
    • Do not unlock doors unless directed to do so by the principal/designee or police/fire personnel.
    • Do not attempt to contact the office unless an emergency arises in your classroom or you have pertinent information concerning the current emergency.
code red general procedures3
Code Red – General Procedures
  • Classroom teachers responsibilities during Code Red – Respond.
    • Follow the above procedures except for locking classroom doors and windows, turning off the lights and moving students to the rear of the classroom.
    • If a television set is available in the classroom, turn it on and turn up the volume so it is audible.