The recent tragedies in Connecticut have left our country shaken the past few days, as we battle with proposed ways to stop would-be shooters from hurting our fellow Americans again. Among the proposed solutions are the removal of guns altogether (gun control), arming teachers, making changes to our mental health programs, and putting security guards in our schools. Each solution has its pros and cons, but the addition of security guards might be the one that is, perhaps, the most practical (and can happen immediately). Here are five reasons why we should start putting security guards in our schools right now:
1. Effective way to control access
I’m sure that we can agree that no one who is not allowed to enter a school (or any area or facility for that matter) should be able to find their way in. Entrances should be properly protected by security guards (armed or not) who check to see if that person has any business there or not. Every person who enters the school should provide identification and should be recorded by the security guard. If they do not have a prior appointment with anyone in the school, then the security guard should check them for weapons and other unpermitted items on their person and in their bag (if they are carrying one), and contact the person that they are requesting to see if they should be granted entry. A camera system should also be installed to allow the security guards to monitor all known points of the campus that may be potentially breached (e.g. a side gate, faculty entrance, etc.) if guards are not physically present around the perimeter of the school.
2. Don’t have to wait for action from government or lawmakers
As members of Congress in Washington and lawmakers in other parts of the country debate the necessary changes we need to make in order to prevent things like this from happening again, we will be sitting around waiting for answers. In the meantime (or as a permanent solution), we can be proactive and use private security at our schools to protect our children. Getting a team of security guards to keep unwanted people out and to provide watchful eyes can be easy as making a phone call. If you want something done, the best thing to do is to take care of it yourself, right?
3. The physical presence will make children feel safer
In the future, we may see measures taken to keep our children safer; changes in gun control, for example. While, this might reduce the occurrence of such crimes, nothing will make us feel better more so than knowing someone is there dedicated to making sure nothing bad happens to our children. The children will feel safer, too, when they come to school and see a security guard in uniform protecting the entrance to their school and “keeping the bad guys out.”
4. Across-the-board risk reduction
While we consider security guards for the protection of our children from malicious individuals, they can assist in other functions as well. Security guards can control traffic before and after school, perform fire watch duties, and make sure no strangers are making contact with any of the children. Many security guards are trained in disaster response and emergency management, providing effective leadership and assistance during times when an emergency creates fear and disorder.
5. Cost is reasonable (can we afford not to?)
Each school would determine based on the size of their school and number of children in attendance how many security guards they would need to effectively stay secure. If the school cannot afford to pay for security guards, parents would surely cover the cost to ensure their children’s well-being. For a small school with about 300 children, hiring a security guard company may cost parents as little as $5-10 a month. Can’t afford it, you say? Maybe it’s time to cancel that Netflix subscription.