When parents think about back to school, it would be nice if they only had to worry about getting the required school supplies together. Unfortunately, they have a host of new things to worry about now from bullying to security to cyber security of personal student information. Here are a few back to school safety and security topics worth noting as school heads back into session.

Bus and driver safety

It may seem like common sense, but drivers often are distracted in the morning on their way to work and in the afternoon on their way home to take care of family matters. Plus, some drivers may not be aware when school goes back in session. Consider a simple social media effort in your local community to warn drivers of kids crossing streets in the coming weeks. Let them know the risks and penalties of not stopping for school busses.

For example, in Alabama, a variety of laws apply to when drivers must stop for a school bus. Considerations for the number of lanes in the roadway, divided highways, turn lanes, and other physical road characteristics apply.  However, when in doubt, drivers should stop when a school bus is displaying its warning lights.

The topics covered above are a few of the most basic and easy to implement security and safety measures. Now let’s look at more complex solutions that must be considered.

Video surveillance

Most schools have some sort of video surveillance in place. However, many systems go unchecked until an emergency occurs. Take the time now to look at your cameras in live mode and review recorded video from each camera to ensure that they are recording properly. Faulty recording, dirty lenses, and improper fields of view are common, easily remedied problems.

Also, consider adding a handful of cameras where known vulnerabilities exist. Beefing up an existing system is simple and can be done quickly.

Door control and intercom

Controlling access to the primary entrance is critical. Locking the doors during school hours adds a layer of security. Consider installing an intercom system to communicate with visitors before they can enter the building. Be sure that there is a video feed associated with th e audio feed so school personnel can see who’s talking to them.

Mass notification

When an emergency occurs, it’s important for students and staff t react properly. The days of automatically evacuating a building are gone. Now, it’s critical to provide building occupants with exact situational information so that they can make the best decision for sheltering in place or evacuating. Depending on the emergency type and location, what they decide to do will vary. Getting this important information to them within seconds can involve a variety of alarm and voice annunciation systems that work in unison to deliver pre-recorded or on-the-fly messages immediately.

Cyber security

Securing sensitive student information has been a top priority for school systems for years. Be sure they are aware of the risks involved in deploying cameras and other security devices on the network. Federal government agencies have growing concerns over the security of IP-enabled cameras. The IT department is constantly working to secure the information, and this may be a topic they have yet to consider.

We’re Here to Help

The Vision team is ready to help you protect your students, teachers, and visitors. We can help implement immediate fixes and design long-term solutions. We’ll navigate initial discussions with all stakeholders by clearly explaining the technology and how it operates. We’ll help to dispel many of the concerns of parents and the community leaders. Once a plan is approved, our experienced team will ensure your school and surrounding grounds are protected.