Five Critical School Safety Issues

TASA ID: 2774

This consulting company's research team has provided biyearly school safety reports for Congress since the year 2000. The following list was developed from interviews with teachers, school security personnel, police and principals from 120 school districts throughout the United States. The Research Team Leader's comments are quoted throughout the article.

1. LACK OF ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OF SAFETY ISSUES - Many schools and school districts have performed poor assessments of their school safety as it relates to everyday management of the schools.

Schools have security audits performed which focus on physical security such as cameras and emergency plans. These audits do not address classroom management, sub-cultural groups, educational objectives, special education, negative behavior cliques and sexual issues.

"School environments must be analyzed from an educator's perspective. Another aspect of this issue is that schools often have no real way of collating the data into a meaningful set of action plans."

2. REACTION NOT PREDICTION - Many schools and school districts have policies against student aggression and criminal behavior but fail to develop clear management procedures to assist staff and administrators in predicting and preventing these problems.

"Because schools generally do not have effective school safety management plans, they resort to a crisis with reaction rather than preventing a crisis from happening.".

3. POOR MANAGEMENT OF SCHOOLS - Management issues in school generally fall into several categories :

  • Poor time management. "Time is the currency of learning and it needs to be treated that way by the schools in the same manner as it is in the business community."
  • Non-data based decisions. "Not because the data does not presently exist within the school but rather schools often lack an effective and efficient means of gaining access to it." Unwillingness to depart from conventional thinking." If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always have gotten."
  • School boards being asked to make decisions without essential data.
  • Poor use of technology to handle the mundane tasks. "There is a complete lack of understanding of how technology can be utilized to assure that administrator and teacher time is spent on educating students.
  • Lack of effective on-going interactive community wide communications. "School officials must actively and regularly interact with parents and the community in general."

4. LACK OF EFFECTIVE PLANS TO COMBAT TRUANCY AND LATENESS - School districts do not seem to be willing to engage local, state and federal social service agencies as real partners in assisting them with truancy and tardiness.

"A formal plan of action with local courts, social services, and law enforcement is critical to reducing and controlling this serious problem."

5. POOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT - Many schools have emergency plans but fail to train their staff members in the management of an emergency situation. An example of the problem is the lack of training for school staff members in the handling of special needs children.

"Special needs students are being placed in regular education classrooms without the administration providing regular classroom teachers with the necessary and proper training and support. Children with various emotional or mental issues will panic in emergencies; proper training must be performed to give staff the skills necessary to manage the inevitable chaos and emotion that occurs in an emergency situation."

This article discusses issues of general interest and does not give any specific legal, medical, or business advice pertaining to any specific circumstances.  Before acting upon any of its information, you should obtain appropriate advice from a lawyer or other qualified professional.

This article may not be duplicated, altered, distributed, saved, incorporated into another document or website, or otherwise modified without the permission of TASA.

Previous Article A Business Plan Must Include Security
Next Article Preventing Violence - Priority Number One
Tasa ID2774

Theme picker


  • Let Us Find Your Expert

  • Note: This form is to be completed by legal and insurance professionals ONLY. If you are a party in a case that requires an expert witness, please have your attorney contact TASA at 800-523-2319.

Search Experts

TASA provides a variety of quality, independent experts who meet your case criteria. Search our extensive list of experts now.

Search Experts