School Safety Technology: Guns or Information Technology?
A National Tragedy
In the aftermath of the shooting rampage at the Sandy Hook elementary school, on the top of everyone’s mind is school safety. We don’t pretend to know the answers. In fact, there’s probably a host of safety technology solutions (or combination thereof) that make sense based on the needs of the school and community.
Is it gun-wielding security guards at each of 138,925 schools in America, as proposed by the NRA? That’s an option but not necessarily the solution. A useful resource is Homeland Security’s School Safety and preparedness documents.
One Option is Clear
Smartphones and IT can help enhance school safety. They couldn’t stop a Sandy Hook rampage. But, at the very least, school officials’ smartphones should be set up to quickly alert the proper authorities and record incidents with their cameras.
What Can Safety Technology Do?
A plethora of safety technology is available to enhance school safety. Some are intrusive (e.g., hidden cameras). Some are obtrusive (e.g., locked gates, metal detectors). Others are less so, but alone are not as effective (e.g., visitor badges).
- Probably the most obvious way to start is to institute an alert system where school officials could initiate immediate action. This might be especially useful if a system of first responders could be set up by the school and community, including local police and firefighters.
- Perhaps another good start would be to enable school officials or security personnel to view the school’s premises from remote cameras. A school could combine that with a system for screening visitors anywhere on campus.
What Might School Safety Technology Entail?
Who is authorized to be on the school’s campus? Badges can be given to authorized visitors, but how do you check if the badge is current and valid? How do you know it’s worn by the authorized visitor?
- With our new ‘Webify ID’ authentication technology, school officials can not only authenticate the visitor’s ID number in real time. They can also view the authorized visitor’s image on their iOS and Android devices. If the ID is invalid or the images don’t match, the administrator can take immediate action. This might be a simple, low-cost step toward making our school’s safer.
- Note: To set up this type of service you will need to be a developer or IT administrator. Please let us know if you need help by emailing us. We’re happy to help.