Mass Shootings: Is Violence on the Rise in Schools Today?
School shootings are becoming an increasingly common aspect of life, but this is not something that people should simply get used to. It seems we hear in the news all too often there has been another shooting at a school or a child has been arrested for taking a gun to school. It is important for schools nationwide to take a closer look at their security and take measures to help prevent these potentially deadly incidents from occurring.
School Shooting Statistics
According to the U.S. Secret Service, there were 37 school shootings between 1974 and 2000. Although this averages less than one per year, statistics indicate that the prevalence of the shootings increased dramatically each decade. Shockingly, there were 10 school shootings in 2012, and there were eight more during January 2013. In other words, this decade has seen an unprecedented increase in these incidents, and this truly highlights the fact that something needs to change.
Reducing Campus Violence
It is clear that basic security measures are not enough to keep schools safe. Additionally, recent shootings have happened at a diverse list of schools, ranging from elementary to college. In other words, it is important to recognize the fact that every school has an equal risk. Fortunately, there are several techniques that each school can utilize to dramatically reduce the odds that a shooting incident will occur on campus.
For example, consulting with a professional company such as MSA Security will help school officials determine any risk factors that are specific to their campus environment. Such a company offers services such as security program audits and emergency management planning. Additionally, these companies can install x-ray technology so that schools can ensure that guns are not brought on campus.
The Issue of Hoaxes
Unfortunately, some people have decided to take advantage of the recent increase in school shootings to pull expensive hoaxes. For example, Yale University was locked down on November 25, 2013, after a 911 caller stated that a shooter was headed to campus. This turned out to be a hoax, and it is estimated that the necessary overtime to the city’s police department will cost $30,000. A week later, the University of New Haven, which is located in the same city as Yale University, experienced a lockdown when a student was found with weapons, and this cost $12,000 in police overtime.
The very real threat that is associated with school shootings makes it difficult for a local police department to immediately make the distinction between a hoax and a real event, and they are also forced to take immediate action if someone brings a weapon to campus. However, if these schools had a well-trained security company in place, they could more easily assess the situation.
Other Forms of School Violence
Although school shootings capture the most news headlines, statistics indicate that other violent acts are still a problem. However, it is important to note that the frequency of non-shooting related violent acts has been slowly on the decline since 1999. Sadly, this does not help the 43 students who died due to violence on a school campus during the 2007-2008 school year area.
Ultimately, the best way to reduce violence and shootings at each school nationwide is the take a firmer approach to security. Therefore, it is highly advisable for each school board to consider implementing techniques such as metal detectors, x-ray machines and the implementation of a professional security firm to protect our youth today.
With 4 children and as state employee of her local school system, Lisa Coleman understands the importance of having security for our kids in schools today. She recently read online about how security specialists with MSA Security can provide high level perimeter security and training programs to our schools.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8593364@N06/3218584797/