Proactive vs. Reactive School Safety Measures
According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics, students ages 12–18 suffered 1,364,900 nonfatal victimizations in 2012 alone: 615,600 victims of theft and 749,200 victims of violence. As a result, schools all across the nation have invested in advanced safety measures to help ensure the safety of their students. However, most of these school safety measures tend to fall into the category of reactive security.
“Reactive answers continue to be the mainstream argument with politicians and the media, and these tired solutions are not working, said Jason Wells of Defender Training and Consulting L.L.C.
Reactive School Safety
According to the aforementioned study, 64% of schools reported using security cameras to monitor activity, and 43% reported the presence of one or more security staff at their school. These security measures are designed to deal with threats as they materialize – reactively. While this certainly helps minimize damage done during incidents of school violence, these security measures do very little – if anything – to prevent violence. The same holds true for Arkansas’ 2015 School Safety Act (Act 950).
Arkansas recently approved a $950,000 budget to implement a panic button system in the state’s 1,050-plus public school districts by September 1st. The system, complete with a smartphone app connects users quickly with 911 and allows them to select the specific type of emergency: active shooter, etc. This new system is expected to greatly reduce response time in the event of serious school violence. However, a proactive approach to school safety could be even more effective and affordable.
Proactive School Safety
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics study, 88% of schools control access to school buildings by locking or monitoring doors. But what happens when the threat to your school – your students and faculty – isn’t an outside source? What happens when the threat to your school is one of your students?
It is only through proactive, positive interventions with our youth, identifying conditions early on through behavioral observations and assessments, that we will be able to prevent the manifestation of threat-related behavior later in life,” said Wells. “We can stop these violent acts, but we must do it correctly!”
Threat assessment is a proactive method designed to aid parents, teachers, and school administrators in recognizing the warning signs of school violence, and teach them what to do in the event that a potential risk arises. If we can identify these indicators, we can address them BEFORE they become dangerous.
Threat Assessment Training from Defender, L.L.C.
Defender is a privately operated, woman-owned business that proudly employs veterans of the U.S. Military to provide schools the best in threat assessment training. Our system is called OA2, which stands for Observe, Assess, and Act. We train K-12 teachers in observing and assessing the indicators of behavior that are associated with threat-related behavior, and train the teachers and staff how to deal with these conditions AT THE SCHOOL LEVEL.
We believe this to be the best tool in the fight against school violence.
If you have any questions about Proactive School Safety and Threat Assessment Training, please contact Defender, L.L.C. by calling 410-381-8003. You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, put us in your Google+ circle, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for even more great information.