If you have children, you worry about their safety every single day, especially when they are out of your sight. Sending them off to school only increases that anxiety and concern.
Crime and violence in our schools have led the U.S. Congress to create the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative through the National Institute of Justice. In 2015, Congress appropriated $69 million toward the initiative’s programs and research, including a push to “develop knowledge about what works to make schools safe.”
We’ve seen reports time and again of teachers bravely guarding students in moments of terror — putting their lives on the line to keep children free from harm. Technology can take that one step further, putting more safeguards in place and putting parents’ minds at ease.
“We can’t put a teacher in every corner of the building to monitor things, so I basically see every camera as an extra set of eyes that provides us with information that we can act on in real time,” says Fil Santiago, district director of technology and staff development at West Orange Public Schools in northern New Jersey.
Learn about the steps West Orange has taken to safeguard its schools in our feature article “Schools Put Safety First with Latest Tech.”
With vigilance and technology, such as camera systems and other emergency preparedness tools, schools in the United States will have a better chance at keeping our children safe.
Wrapping Schools in Multiple Layers of Security
In addition to the physical environment, it’s also important to keep school and student data and devices safe. As more districts implement one-to-one and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives, schools need to ensure their networks can handle security and bandwidth issues. By investing in a state-of-the-art, high-speed network to fortify security, districts have a fighting chance to deal with these issues.
“We use multiple levels of security because one appliance can’t do it all,” says IT Technology Manager Harry Doctor Jr. from West Windsor–Plainsboro School District in New Jersey, which just launched a new one-to-one computing initiative to go with an existing BYOD program. “It’s critical to have good protection on the network edge.”
Doctor tells his department’s story in our feature article “Network Security in a One-to-One and BYOD World.”
When it comes down to it, safety and security are paramount in our schools. Can you think of anything more important?