Perhaps now more than ever parents are concerned about who is watching their kids at school. With all these school shootings going on, people are scared. Will their little one be the victim of gun violence while they’re trying to learn their reading, writing and arithmetic?
How should you, as a parent or school administrator or teacher, evaluate your school’s security guards?
First, does your school have enough guards to cover all times of the day and night? For instance, are there security guards in place when kids are dropped off in the morning, at lunch, walking the halls, picked up after school, and/or at sporting events and after school activities like band practice or drama club rehearsals? There shouldn’t be a time when a school doesn’t have a guard present! After all, bad people can do bad things at anytime– whether it’s 7 in the morning or 7 at night, right?
Resources Used for Security
Consider the school’s budget. How much of it goes toward safety and security? Perhaps your school is behind-the-times– paying more money and attention to things that may not be keeping kids, teachers and visitors safe and secure from harm. Investigate the budget and learn if it’s where you think it should be, or if you need to attend meetings and “make some noise” to get more money devoted to security.
Knowledge of the Facilities
If and when you interact with security guards at school, ask them questions. You can quiz them to see if they know all about the school’s facilities. They should know where things are, traffic patterns, and other pertinent information. School guards need to communicate well with principals, teachers, students, etc. If they keep to themselves, never share their reports, and don’t know anybody’s name, they’re not doing a good job. Guards must establish rapport with the people they’re guarding, and communicate effectively with them.
A Plan for the Worse
Does your school have a planned protocol to deal with anything abnormal? Do the guards literally know what to do if a person with a weapon is found roaming the halls? Does it seem like everyone’s on the same page and aware of what’s going on at the school? If not, why not?
Take time and effort to make sure your school takes security seriously and that guards are doing the job you’d expect them to do– help keep them accountable so tragedies will ultimately be prevented.