It has to stop…and we have to rework the way Schools and Vendors work together. It is about the safety of our kids and their educators. What we have been doing is not working and we DO need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the process of securing our schools. Recently I was watching a news report where the commentator spoke to the fact that we have more security in our banks, jewelry stores, and sporting events than we do in our local schools…what’s wrong with this picture?
Creating collaborative partnership is truly the only way for our schools to expand school security, behavior modification and truly create a successful and safe learning environment for students. These partnerships can be between a single vendor and a school, but ideally thought multiple partners who have the same goals in mind.
Identification Vendors, access control companies, video surveillance integrators, behavior management systems, alert systems providers, which may be one vendor or multiple vendors who must be willing to work with Student Information Systems providers, IT Departments, PTA/PTOs, School Boards, Campus Administrators, Counselors, Law Enforcement agents…whoever it takes to come together and create a comprehensive plan for success.
It takes so much more than just practicing Lock and Secure drills or even arming our educators. I believe it takes salespeople who will stop trying to pitch a product long enough to truly listen to administrators, parents, teachers and yes even students to hear their needs and concerns. Maybe working together to form a task force of community and business partners who want to make an impact.
It also takes school administration officials letting their guards down a bit to hear what experienced agents for school safety and security products have to say. These are the people to study the products, attend the training sessions and trade shows and are dependent on successful products to keep their companies open. We are a walking wealth of knowledge just trying to get past your gatekeeper to share a bit of insight that might make your job easier, save money and hopefully save lives.
Now I will be the first to admit, not one single product my company sells can stop a bullet from a semi-automatic rifle. BUT, what if:
- there were solutions that could empower educators to recognize social and emotional skills that are lacking and provide them an application in place that could help nourish those skills, work to deter bullying and peer pressure all the while decreasing the number of discipline referrals?
- Automate and track attendance – helping maintain attendance revenue, but more importantly ensuring students are in class and that seat times are increased.
- You were able to provide visual identification of everyone that is supposed to be in a building and verify where they should and should not be at any given time. That same visual identification could be used in the cafeteria to automate lunch lines and ensure NO one on free and reduced programs stood out or felt shamed in the lunch line.
- Manage access to doors and hallways at scheduled times and provide automated lockdown features when they are needed.
- Clear and manageable video systems providing real-time views into all areas of the campus. No more antiquated systems that as one campus IT Director said “make students look like “ fuzzy pickles walking down the hallway”
- Visitor management systems that TRULY manage your visitors. Fast, accurate sex offender checks, the ability to ban visitors and assign an escort to those who require such. Having a real time view of who is in the building in the event you need to pull an emergency muster list.
- Automated check-in for approved visitors and vendors allowing them use of the access control system to enter areas allowed during their visit, and the ability to track volunteer hours.
- Crisis management alert systems – two-way communication to notify teachers of a threat by person or by weather, and allow an educator to notify administration of a medical issue or discipline need in their classroom.
There is so much expertise in our communities, businesses that strive to bring products, applications, and resources to our schools to HELP, not only for the purpose of a sale. We as vendors need to be gracious in our pricing and try to work within the means of our school’s budgets, not just trying to capitalize on a season where some of the products we offer may be “HOT” sellers. It is about the greater good, not only bigger paychecks.
I challenge our school districts and our safety and security vendors to join together and create sustainable programs that increase not only the safety of our schools but the confidence of the students and parents. The Status Quo is no longer effective – we must look at each other as partners to provide the safest environment possible to educate our children. Diamond Business is ready – are you? http://www.diamondbusiness.net