Recent events in the domestic and international school communities have highlighted the broad threats facing students and institutions globally. As a safety technology company we specialize in providing tools that mitigate risks within the international school community, at live events and in corporations. The current tragedies have prompted us to further enhance our TOTALITY platform to make certain we specifically address important issues with regard to on and off campus child protection.
Leaders within the international school community are generally aware of the threats and hazards impacting the safety and security of their students, staff, information and facilities. They can be manifested in a variety of categories to include natural sources, technological threats, infrastructure, biological and finally, an assortment of human elements including civil unrest, bullying and criminal activity such as sexual predators. While each threat and hazard may have unique characteristics, correcting vulnerabilities and implementing thorough, consistent and coordinated policies and procedures can help mitigate or prevent many school risks. Addressing vulnerabilities through policies and procedures is part of the prevention and mitigation phase of the five-step school crisis planning cycle, which also includes preparation, response, recovery and communication.
Is your school practicing comprehensive security and crisis planning? Where does your school stand in the area of prevention and mitigation? Take this quick assessment to help identify your potential vulnerabilities.
|Do you conduct comprehensive suitability investigations to include multi-jurisdictional police records checks, employment verifications and reference interviews on all personnel who have or could potentially have unsupervised access with your students?|
|Do you have and enforce access control policies at your facility?|
|Do you utilize identification media for permanent staff, contractors and visitors while they are on campus?|
|Are non-vetted contract workers escorted while on campus and in the presence of students?|
|Does your school have a written and practiced social/emotional curriculum that promotes student voice?|
|Do you have a method known to students, staff and parents to report, and procedures for promptly investigating, reports of suspicious or inappropriate activity/behavior?|
|Do you utilize sufficient and balanced teams of vetted chaperones for after hours and off campus activities?|
|Do you have a child protection team?|
If you answered NO to any of the above questions, NOW is the time to strengthen your crisis planning and security program.
Development, implementation and enforcement of a broad set of policies (what you do and do not do) and procedures (how you do it) addressing the above questions will reduce the opportunity and means of individuals and circumstances affecting the safety and security of international schools. Within TOTALITY, schools are easily able to manage their policies and protocols.
In addition to policies and procedures you can further strengthen your prevention and mitigation program by:
- Ensuring your campus has a defined and closed perimeter made up of walls, anti-climb fences, or natural barriers with lockable gates on all entrances and exits.
- Monitoring your ingress and egress points to allow for easier supervision and detection of unwanted and/or suspicious persons.
- Supplementing physical controls with the use of appropriate technology and equipment (cameras, lighting, turnstiles, locks, alarms, and identification badges).
- Restricting access to areas that should be off-limits to students (maintenance rooms, equipment storage areas, staff areas, storage closets, and unused sections of your campus or buildings).
These relatively basic steps, practiced in a consistent and deliberate manner by all stakeholders will not eliminate all of your risks, but WILL mitigate and reduce them.
- Posted by Tye Fussell
- On February 23, 2018
- 0 Comments