How Technology Can Be Used to Keep Schools and Students Safe
Albert Einstein once stated that a
problem cannot be solved with the same
consciousness that created it. This
concept is spot-on when it comes to
school safety and security – particularly
with Christian schools.
All too often, public schools approach safety and security
with an “insurance policy” mentality; that is, they fervently hope
nothing serious happens and make barebones investment in access
security (like a few fi re alarms, surveillance cameras, access
controls), and then cross their fi ngers, hoping for the best.
Christian schools often take this mindset one step further,
counting on the moral instincts they hope are fostered in their
students to prevent undesirable incidents.
Both approaches made sense 20 years
ago. Today, not so much. And that is the
challenge Christian schools face regarding
safety and security. Like public
schools, they bring a 20th century
solution to a 21st century problem.
For example, fires in schools
are not a common occurrence,
by any means, but they do occur far more often than most
people would like to believe.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there
are more than 3,200 fi res each year in schools in the United
States. And each year, our schools tragically instill antiquated and
dangerous habits into our students with static fi re drills.
Our students are taught that when they hear a fi re bell, they
are to stay low, walking single fi le out of the classroom, turning
right, walking down the corridor and turning left. They then walk
down the hallway toward the exit.
But what if the fi re has originated somewhere along this
route? Now you are asking students and teachers to (a) not panic
and (b) start looking for alternate routes while staying low, avoiding
possible smoke and (c) did we mention not panicking?
Now, change things up for a minute. Let’s say it isn’t a fi re.
It’s a gunman. In the hallways. Now, the protocols become even
more tragic, more dangerous.
For most schools, their protocols kick in once shots are fi red.
Let that sink in for a moment. A gunman is walking in your hallways
– with a weapon in sight – yet most response protocols
wait until the weapon is fi red before they are initiated.
Compound the issue with the reality that these gunmen are
– unfortunately – quite strategic in their thinking. They often will
make a phone call warning of a leak, or push a fi re button, in
order to get more targets in the line of fi re. Harsh, but this is how
we have to think – harshly – if we want to combat these types
In fact, to paraphrase Romans 12, which is familiar to these
schools and their administrators, we shouldn’t just fall in line
with what everyone else is doing. We need to think differently.
We need to change the way we think about these emergencies
and how to respond to them in the safest and most expedient
Fortunately, technology today is available to solve
these types of challenges…but again, schools must
There are surveillance cameras. The problem
is that fi res don’t avoid cameras. Neither do gunmen.
Cameras are often the fi rst thing that a
gunman eliminates. Again, they think far
more strategically than we would like to