School Security: Student Violence

        Prepare Your School for Security and Disaster Threats


Thirty-three school-associated violent deaths occurred from July 2009 through June 2010, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NCES also found that 5.6 percent of students reported carrying a weapon on school property.

With the growing trend of “bullying” and highly-publicized school violence, such as the shootings at Virginia Tech or even more recently, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, school violence is a serious risk that could be addressed in the following ways:

     • Install metal detectors at entrances to the facility, if needed.

     • Hire security guards to monitor activity in the school.

     • Enforce student conduct and dress code policies.

     • Train staff to be observant of the warning signs of potentially
     violent student behavior.

     • Educate students about violence. For example, create an
     anti-bullying instructional program.

A natural disaster or security risk could happen in your school any day. It is imperative that you have a plan to handle these potential risks, both to ensure the safety of your students and staff and to avoid a financial crisis that could shut down your school. To prepare for the unexpected, you should review your security and disaster readiness plans to help you minimize the impact of any potentially threatening situation.

Keeping your building secure from outside criminals or unauthorized personnel is a paramount responsibility. Assess your facility’s current security features and determine where improvements should be made.