Re-posted with permission from Higgins Corporation and edited.
It’s that time of year again. Fall is upon us — and school is in full swing.
Unfortunately, worrying about how many notebooks or 3-ring binders your child needs for their classes has become the least of our worries. Due to the significant increase in school violence around the nation, security officers, IT professionals, and administrators are focusing their attention on drastically raising the bar for school security and identification standards.
Current policies and procedures are being reexamined or recreated entirely to ensure students, schools, and districts can feel a resilient sense of safety wherever they are on school property. After all, when parents drop their kids off at school in the morning, the last thing they want to be worried about during their day at work is the safety of their child.
However, due to recent events throughout the country, this is exactly what parents are thinking about – and it needs to stop.
A Nationwide Need for Better School Security
A new poll taken this past summer looked at the public’s attitude toward school security and safety. The results from this poll show one in three parents with school-aged children – or 34 percent – fear for their child’s safety at school. This is the highest point in twenty years, and two times the number reported just five years ago. (Campus Safety Magazine, 2018)
Overall, the poll found that parents are not confident that schools are able to protect their children against school shootings.
It also found that most parents favored armed police officers, mental health screenings/improvements of resources, metal detectors, and implementing other modern school security technologies such as updated surveillance cameras, visitor/student management, and/or access control systems versus arming teachers/faculty.
Only about 37 percent believed that arming teachers would improve school security and safety – however, the number did rise to 49 percent if training and screening programs were put into place beforehand.
The results from this poll were released early so that appropriate school officials could start preparing for the upcoming school year by considering various solutions to increase the safety and security of their schools.
How can we turn these stats around so that parents feel comfortable and confident about the safety of their child during the day at school?
- In order to maintain higher levels of security in the classroom and within school walls, understanding the wealth of security options that are available is key. Learn, research, and begin to compare different solutions that could potentially work for your school’s unique demands.
- As technology becomes more sophisticated, it is important that school administrators, security officers, and IT teams are keeping up with these technological trends, and bolstering current resources with new tools to tighten up and secure their campuses.
Visual Identification is an Important Part of School Security
Implementing a school ID/badging program is one of the most successful ways to build a solid foundation for safety and security on your school’s campus. Why? Well, a school ID program helps require that each student, faculty member, volunteer, and visitor wears an identifiable ID badge or visitor badge at all times. Knowing who is in the building and being able to verify their identity quickly and easily is a simple, yet effective way to start keeping your school safe.
In today’s ever-changing world, it can be challenging to figure out the right way to implement a program like this; but the first steps are being prepared and making sure you have all the necessary resources to launch your badge program. Once you check these off your list, think about the evolution of your program – as your ID badge program should be scalable and flexible enough to grow with you over time.
The fundamental component of every ID badge program is, of course, a badge! For school students, these typically feature a first and last name, photo, student ID number, grade, teacher, and any other important distinguishing information. More and more school districts are turning to badge programs where a student or staff ID is required to be displayed on their person at all times while on school grounds.
Issue durable ID cards that last throughout the school year, customized with full-color photos, your school colors and mascot/logo for visual identification of students and staff that belong on school premises.
But oh, just wait! Your badges can be used for even more than just visual identity!
What Else Should Be Part of Your School’s ID Program
Combine door access control, visitor and asset management systems, and lunch program applications into one versatile card for all-in-one convenience and security! With these additional features, you can:
- Control access to buildings, events, computers, and networks
- Track attendance and visitors
- Manage media center and lunch programs
Print cards with affordable security features based on your school’s needs. Custom enhancements of your cards will heighten the level of security as well as the difficulty to copy or counterfeit. Some card security enhancements you might consider include:
- Tactile Impression – exclusively from Entrust Datacard’s line of CD800 direct-to-card printers, this is an imprint made from tactile impression die directly onto the surface of your cards during the printing process to increase tamper resistance of your cards, making them more secure and nearly impossible to duplicate.
- Holokote Watermark – the custom HoloKote is a built-in security feature that prints a secure watermark on the badge’s surface during normal printing, and is visible when the card is viewed at an angle. The unique image you use for your watermark is encrypted and electronically stored preventing the threat of card duplication, further strengthening card security.
- Holographic Foil Cards – the best budget-friendly option and a great choice if your ID card printer does not have lamination capabilities. Foil cards contain an embedded holographic image repeated over the card face combined with a tamper-resistant laminate for increased school security.
Another great way to take your ID badging system to the next level is with custom badge accessories.
These include lanyards, badge reels, and silicone phone wallets that can each be designed in your school’s colors with an imprint of your school’s name and mascot/logo to provide an at-a-glance identification of a student, teacher, or staff member. Not only do these customizable accessories add a method of instant visual security and protect your school ID cards from everyday wear-and-tear, but they’re also fun, stylish, and help students and staff show some school spirit!
In conclusion, school security can be integrated into your card program in a variety of ways. For the best performance and ultimate success, we recommend a multi-layer approach as no single security feature can guard against every attack all on its own. Schools across the US are launching similar badging programs to bring awareness, help educate, and promote the safety and security within their schools.
When you think about it, your school is really only as secure as you, your staff, and your students make it. So don’t be the last one to adapt to new school security and technology innovations that can keep your schools safe.
Let the ISG Help Your School
Not sure where to start? By partnering with the Identification Systems Group (ISG), a nationwide network of identification and security dealers across the US and Canada. This enables you to work alongside security experts who will take the time to find or create the best solution or combination of solutions that closely aligns with the individual needs of your organization.
ISG professionals are aware of the need for safer schools as it is a nationwide concern – and we are here to provide you with as much information as possible on the different products, solutions, and technologies available in order to help find the best option for you. We can provide you with one complete, cost-effective solution – reliable card printers, easy-to-use software, intelligent supplies, and expert service – all engineered to work together seamlessly.
Contact us today to speak with your local ISG member to review your school’s specific identification and security needs.