Many high schools in America opt for an open campus policy, where students are permitted to leave the school grounds during lunch or free periods. Spirited debates about the benefits and drawbacks have ensued through the years, but many students appreciate the freedom that an open-campus policy affords them.
If your school has or is considering implementing an open-campus policy, it’s imperative to keep students and faculty safe with appropriate security measures for this setup.
1. Keep an Eye on Everyone
According to a study, 75% of schools used security cameras during the 2013-2014 school year, and they’re on the right track for safety. Especially for schools where students can come and go as they please, security cameras are key for security personnel to maintain a watchful eye. Additionally, school administrators can use a mobile device to view video monitoring feeds on the go.
Cameras should be positioned optimally for surveillance of all areas, with special attention on high-traffic hallways, entrances and exits, and the parking lot that students may use when they leave and return to the school’s campus. Keep in mind that cameras are not permitted in private places, such as restrooms and locker rooms.
2. Know Who’s Coming and Going
Access control systems are the best tool for securing your school, while still allowing students to safely enter and exit throughout the day. Give each student an I.D. card that allows access to the building’s entrances at certain times. Access control systems also give special privileges to certain cardholders. For example, the teachers’ lounge door could be unlocked only with a teacher’s I.D.
Access control systems record when individuals enter and exit the building, giving school security personnel a log of when students come and go from the school’s campus. Additionally, intercom systems can be utilized to communicate with people outside the building if card access is denied or to give certain people, such as delivery personnel, special access to the building.
3. Keep Schools Safe with Alarms
An alarm system is a final, all-encompassing solution to keeping your school safe as an open-campus environment. Your school’s alarm system should be set to emit a sound when certain entrances are breached or other emergencies are present.
Furthermore, the alarm system should be linked to a mass communication system that alerts students who may be off campus via text or email about an emergency situation occurring in the building.