Monday, January 9, 2012

School Security: Working Against Us?

Security guards team up to steal laptops, cell phones, and cash from a Middle School -
One of the potential weak links in the typical school security program, as ironic as it sounds, is Security Personnel. Whether outsourced or in-house, security personnel are often modestly compensated and untrained.  Think about it... Is the typical security guard, safety monitor, or "rent-a-cop" viewed by administrators, students and staff with R-E-S-P-E-C-T? 
Does it make sense that somebody positioned on the "front line" as a first responder is not certified in CPR/First Aid/AED?  In conducting Limited Scope Performance Testing ("Secret Shopping"), we have found security personnel reading newspapers, ignoring unauthorized visitors, snacking in storage rooms, etc.  Who is holding them accountable?
Should we be surprised by this story? Not until we make some changes at the top! 
I recommend making security effectiveness part of an administrator's performance evaluation. UNTIL that happens, schools will continue to foster a culture of security as a necessary evil.  Security personnel will be marginalized and produce to the level of low expectations UNTIL there is a legitimate change in the view from the top.
We need security.  Let's act like it!

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