In an effort to increase school safety, many public K-12 public schools in the United States have adopted new school safety and security measures. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) some of these measures include equipping classroom doors with interior locks, hiring police officers, creating active shooter preparedness plans, and investing in new communications technology.
This new data from the NCES comes during a time of increased worry about the safety of schools in the face of school shooters, the most recent of which was the shooting in the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 students and two teachers.
Below, we’ll go over these new developments to school safety and explain how the K-12 landscape has changed in recent times.
Many U.S. public schools began increasing building security during the 2019-2020 school year (the last year data is available). According to the NCES, U.S. K-12 public schools reported the following statistics:
- 98% require visitors to check in and wear badges.
- 98% performed drills on lockdowns.
- 97% controlled access to the building by locking or monitoring entry points.
- 96% had written plans describing the procedure in the case of an active shooter.
- 91% used security measures to monitor the school.
- 83% provided two-way radios to staff.
- 77% required faculty and staff to wear badges or photo IDs.
- 73% installed interior classroom locks.
- 70% implemented an electronic notification system for emergency situations.
- 66% provided structured anonymous threat-reporting system.
Active Shooter Response
In the 2019-2020 school year, active shooter response plans were also common for U.S. K-12 public schools. Active shooter response plans usually involve a lockdown procedure that involves securing school grounds and buildings during situations where there is a violent threat.
In the 2003-2004 school year, only 79% of schools reported written plans for an active shooter, now 96% of schools report having one.
Security staff, like law enforcement officers or other security personnel have also increased throughout the years. 65% of K-12 public schools reported having at least one security officer present at their school at least once a week in the 2019-2020 school year. This has increased from 43% a decade before.
Communications and Technology
Another factor that increases safety and schools and is becoming more widespread is investing in reliable communications and technology. This includes the use of security cameras, which 91% of schools reported using to monitor the school in 2019-2020 and two-way radios which 83% reported during this time.
In cases of emergency, two-way radios provide life-saving communication. They allow school-wide messages to be sent out to all staff and security in case of a potential threat and allow for a faster, safer lockdown. Browse our products today for reliable and high-quality two-way radios that can be used by teachers, staff, administrators, and security personnel.