Most New Jersey towns are ending their 2017-2018 school year within the next few days. The teachers, administers and parents are all thinking of summer fun, but it’s also the best time to plan for the 2018-2019 school year safety plans and school security. This school year has seen an unfortunate amount of school shootings and crimes throughout the country. This is now the time to ask, “How safe is your school?” School lock downs known as “shelter in place“ is now sadly a way of life for our children. There have been at least 46 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2018. A total of 65 shootings were reported on school campuses in 2017.
Just this past May, Freehold Township schools, Monroe Township schools and Union City schools, all-in New Jersey, were all locked down to “shelter in place” different days. In Bethlehem, PA schools were locked down when a threat was written on a wall in the school this past month as well.
So the question to ask here is, “how can we keep our children safe?” It’s scary to think of all the safely measures that need to go into place today in our schools. The first lines of defense that all schools need to have today are locked doors with a buzz in system. These doors should have a camera pointing at the person at the door with an intercom system. With the buzz in system in place, a person at the door can state why they are there and actually show their ID before the doors are opened. Here at Central Jersey Security Cameras, we sell cutting edge access control systems such as CDVI Atrium as one of our top selling products. Access control is a way of limiting access to a system or to physical or virtual resources. In computing, access control is a process by which users are granted access and certain privileges to systems, resources, or information.
In access control systems, users must present credentials before they can be granted access. In physical systems, these credentials may come in many forms, but credentials that can’t be transferred provide the most security. For example, a key card may act as an access control and grant the bearer access to a classified area. Because this credential can be transferred or even stolen, it is not a secure way of handling access control.
A more secure method for access control involves two-factor authentication. The person who desires access must show credentials and a second factor to corroborate identity. The second factor could be an access code, a pin or even a bio-metric reading.
There are three factors that can be used for authentication:
- Something only known to the user, such as a password or pin.
- Something that is part of the user, such as a fingerprint, retina scan or another bio-metric measurement.
- Something that belongs to the user, such as a card or a key.
For computer security, access control includes the authorization, authentication and audit of the entity trying to gain access. Access control models have a subject and an object. The subject, the human user, is the one trying to gain access to the object – usually the software. In computer systems, an access control list contains a list of permissions and the users to whom these permissions apply. Such data can be viewed by certain people and not by other people and is controlled by access control. This allows an administrator to secure information and set privileges as to what information can be accessed, who can access it and at what time it can be accessed.
One of the latest and greatest features we have to offer is a feature that unfortunately today is becoming more necessary in our everyday lives, “building lockdown” feature. For example, this would allow a school to press either a fixed or mobile button to instantaneously lock down the entire school by locking every single-entry door in the building. This feature would allow a school to fortify the building so no unauthorized persons would be able to enter.
Cameras should be placed at each exterior entrance of the school as well, so the front desk can see who is moving around the outside of the school at all times. Next, would be proper placement of cameras inside the school. Each hallway and stairwell needs to be protected. In the case in Bethlehem, PA cameras in the hall would have shown who the person was that wrote the threat on the wall and saved time in catching the person or persons responsible for the threat. Cameras inside the schools keeps your children protected on so many levels. They will protect your children from bullies, protect teachers from falsely being accused of something and can protect your child from a teacher that may not be treating your child right.
Many schools are now even adding cameras to the actual classrooms. This is often the proof to show parents how their child is behaving in the classroom, or proof of how a teacher may interact with your child. Cameras in the classroom often serve as not just protection for the child and the teacher, but to go back and see how both teacher and child can improve in the future.
Here is a list of all of the shootings that took place over the 2018 part of the academic year:
- January 3: A 31-year-old man shot and killed himself in the parking lot of his former elementary school in Michigan.
- January 4: Shots were fired at New Start High School outside Seattle. No one was hit or hurt.
- January 5: A bullet from a pellet gun shattered the window of a Forest City, Iowa, school bus full of students while in transit. No one was injured.
- January 9: A 14-year-old male student killed himself in the bathroom of an elementary school in Arizona.
- January 10: A 14-year-old boy who was found dead inside an elementary school bathroom in southern Arizona, shot himself with a family member’s firearm.
- January 10: A bullet hit a building at California State University, San Bernardino. No one was injured.
- January 10: A student at Grayson College in Texas accidentally fired a bullet during a gun training session with an instructor. No one was hurt.
- January 15: Police in Marshall, Texas, responded to reports of gunfire just after midnight on the Wiley College campus. A stray bullet entered one of the dormitories, but no one was hit.
- January 20: A Winston-Salem State University football player was shot and killed during an event at Wake Forest University.
- January 22: A 16-year-old shot and injured a female student several times at Italy High School in Texas.
- January 22: Someone in a pickup truck fired at a group of students gathered in front of Net Charter School in New Orleans. One boy was injured.
- January 23: A 15-year-old student at a high school in Kentucky shot and killed two students and injured 17 others.
- January 25: A 16-year-old student at a high school in Alabama pointed the gun at school administrators and other students in the school before going outside and firing all the rounds in the air. No one was injured.
- January 26: Shots were fired during a high school basketball game in Dearborn as part of a feud between students who were apparently trying to settle a score.
- January 31: A large fight took place and shots were fired in the school’s parking lot during a school basketball game in Philadelphia.
- February 1: A shooting took place in a Los Angeles middle school classroom that left one boy in critical condition and injured four others.
- February 5: A 17-year-old Oxon Hill High School student got into an SUV with the suspects and was shot in what appears to have been a robbery attempt.
- February 5: The police officer was talking with students at the Harmony Learning Center in Maplewood, Minnesota when the student pulled the trigger of the officer’s weapon.
- February 8: A gun went off at Metropolitan High School in Longwood when it fell out of a student’s bag. One shot was fired into the floor. No one was hurt.
- February 14: A teen gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at his former high school in Parkland, Florida. The gunfire began outside the school and continued inside. 17 people were killed and another 14 were wounded.
- February 15: A teacher in Florida thought she heard gunfire and notified a friend who then called police, prompting students to go on lock down.
- February 20: A seventh-grade student shot and injured himself inside the restroom of an Ohio middle school.
- February 23: Two people were shot on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University. The two people suffered non-life threatening injuries.
- February 24: One person is dead following a shooting at Savannah State University.
- February 26: The shooting at Oakland High School occurred during the school’s lunch period. The two students responsible were in the men’s bathroom when a gun was fired. The bullet passed through the floor and entered the room below where students where gathered. The school went into lock down. No one was injured.
- February 27: A shooting at a Norfolk State University residence hall has injured one student.
- February 27: A shooting at a Mississippi university has left one person injured.
- February 28: A teacher told the students to leave the classroom and he locked them out. The students alerted the principal, who then tried to get inside the classroom. The principal then heard at least one gunshot. The shot went through an exterior window.
- March 2: The Central Michigan University student accused of shooting and killing his parents in a dorm used his father’s gun.
- March 4: Shots were fired outside of a Texas State University dormitory. Police said the suspect was a non-student who got in an argument that escalated. No injuries were reported.
- March 5: 17-year-old male was found dead from what’s believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No other students were in danger during this incident.
- March 7: A Huffman High School senior was killed and another injured when gunfire erupted inside a classroom at the east Birmingham school.
- March 9: A student at Frederick Douglass High School suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The student with the gun suffered a hand injury as a result of the gun accidentally firing.
- March 13: A school resource officer accidentally fired his gun inside a middle school in Alexandria, Virginia, during school hours. No one was hurt.
- March 13: A teacher accidentally fired a gun during a class about public safety at a California classroom.
- March 16: The school resource officer and Big Sky staff were investigating a report that a student brought a gun to school. As a student was being questioned, he ran into the parking lot and was followed by the resource officer. The student got into his car and attempted to run over the officer, that’s when the officer shot at the student’s car.
- March 20: A gunman who opened fire at Great Mills High School in Maryland was killed Tuesday after engaging an armed school resource officer. The shooter was the only fatality. Two students were injured; one with life-threatening, critical injuries and the other in stable condition.
- April 12: One person was injured after shots were fired in the parking lot of Raytown South Middle School. When the shooting happened, a track meet was going on. Administrators evacuated the track meet, and no students at the meet were injured.
- April 19: Gun shots were heard in the neighborhood surrounding Jackson High School on Wildwood Ave. Moments later, the school realized it was hit by bullets. Two windows were hit and bullets went into two classrooms where students were learning. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
- April 20: The students at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida had planned to participate in the national walkout against gun violence, but a student was shot at the high school before the walkout started, sparking a school evacuation and sending the rest of the district into lock down. One student was injured and has been hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
- April 22: A fight in the Mays High School parking lot between a female student and a male who does not go to the school resulted in at least one shot being fired into the air.
- May 3: A Waynesboro Elementary School student reportedly brought a gun to school that accidentally discharged in a bathroom. No one was injured in the shooting.
- May 5: An off-duty Michigan police officer’s gun accidentally discharged at a high school wrestling meet. The bullet struck and lodged in the gym floor, and one person trying to flee twisted an ankle.
- May 11: A 14-year-old boy was arrested after shooting another 14-year-old student in the arm in Palmdale, California. The police described it as an isolated incident.
- May 16: Roughly 180 students were in Dixon High School’s gymnasium to practice for graduation when one of the seniors graduating came out of a bathroom with a gun and began shooting.
- May 18: A shotgun-toting teenager opened fire at a Texas high school killing at least 10 people and leaving a cache of explosives in and around the area. Nine students and one adult were killed. Ten other people were wounded.
- May 18: One person was killed and another wounded in a shooting between people who had just attended a high school graduation ceremony at a Mt. Zion High School.
- May 21: A gunshot victim says he was wounded in the parking lot of a Georgia elementary school, but deputies say the gunfire appears to be unrelated to the school.
- May 25: A male student opened fire at a suburban Indianapolis middle school wounding another student and a teacher before being taken into custody.
- June 1: A teacher found a student with a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside an empty room at the school.
Gunfire ringing out in American schools used to be rare, and shocking. Now it seems to happen all the time. Every day, threats send classrooms into lock downs that can frighten students, even when they turn out to be false alarms. Thousands of schools conduct active-shooter drills in which kids as young as 4 hide in darkened closets and bathrooms from imaginary murderers.
Experts have also begun to document the effects that fatal school shootings have on students. “These incidents can affect students’ decision about whether to stay at their school, affect their cognitive skills, and influence their behavior at school,” according to a 2015 study titled “The Effect of High School Shootings on Schools and Student Performance”. Authors Louis-Philippe Beland and Dongwoo Kim found that enrollment in ninth grade drops following a deadly shooting, as do standardized test scores in math and English for up to three years after a shooting.
A quarter of U.S. parents said they fear for their children’s safety while they are at school, according to an August 2017 Gallup survey. Parents’ concern about children’s safety reached a high after the 1999 Columbine shooting and has spiked sporadically in the wake of other major school shootings.
Here are some words spoken by the parents of the children stuck inside the school during these incidents:
”I still want him to come because he’s learning so much here. This is a great school, he’s improved so much here.”
Another parent said she hopes to see some changes to ensure nothing like this will ever happen again.“We don’t need this happening when they’re in school, when they’re trying to learn”
“But it’s a scary thing to have happen at your child’s school, you drop your child off at school and you don’t except this kind of thing to happen, you expect them to be safe at school.”
“I’m just aggravated that you can’t even go to work or school without something like this happening”
“Not safe, very insecure, I fear for my son’s life. You know what I mean, you really hear about things like this in the news, and just to hear that something like that happened so close to home, it scared the life out of me.”
The only thing your child should have to worry about is their grades and who their date to the dance is going to be… they should not have to worry about their safety! They should be able to walk around school knowing they are safe. Your child should not have the fear of looking over their shoulder as they walk from class to class. They should be able to traipse right down that hallway to the girl they have been anxiously and eagerly awaiting asking to the next school dance. Let’s make schools safer!
Today we are living in an uncertain world, and just sending our children off to school is scary. With the recent events in this country throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, this is how we can keep our children safe. It’s time to start planning to get the security your school needs.
Keep in mind, no two schools are the same when choosing a company to install cameras and alarms to your schools. A company that offers a package is not really your best bet. You want to go with a company that will come to each school and does a safety audit to best meet the needs of each school. A school safety audit is something that should be done at least once a year to ensure all the systems are working properly and are still meeting your school’s needs. This audit of the school should not just be limited to security cameras and alarms in the school, it should also include every point of entry and door access protection. Another tool your school board can use when looking for the company that is going to install your security system is to look them up in the Better Business Bureau. You want to use a company that is BBB accredited so you can look back on the company’s track record. Keep in mind too, when choosing the company or any company that may work in your schools, be sure that the staff is all background checked. Central Jersey Security Cameras will come work with your school district and school budget to best protect your most valuable assets, your children! Our staff is background checked and highly trained in installation of all aspects of security systems. Central Jersey Security Cameras is Better Business Bureau Accredited A+. One of the parents of a student in the New Orleans incident said she hopes to see some changes to ensure nothing like this will ever happen again. Start with getting the security your school needs. Call Central Jersey Security Cameras today and let’s start making the plans to have your school as safe as it can be for next school year. 732-333-0227