6 Tips to Protect Your School from Vandalism
Schools should provide a safe, distraction-free environment in which students can learn and excel in their academic studies. Unfortunately, though, it’s not uncommon for schools to become the target of vandalism. According to the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, 38% of schools reported having one or more incidents of vandalism either on the school grounds or a school-sponsored event such as a sports game. When vandalism occurs, it can disrupt the normal learning process for students while forcing the school to spend additional time and resources to repair the damaged item(s).
1) Connect with the Local Police Department
Most police departments will gladly work with you to protect your school from vandalism. For instance, you can call to request regular patrols during the evenings and nights when the property is unoccupied. Just the presence of a patrol car driving by on a regular basis is often enough to deter potential vandals.
2) Set Up Video Surveillance Monitoring
Installing a video surveillance system will also help protect your school from vandalism. Consider setting up outdoor video cameras around your school’s property, covering all angles and points of entry. Some schools only have a couple of video cameras, leaving certain areas unprotected — and it only takes one unprotected area to provide an ideal target for vandals. The bottom line is that your school’s video surveillance system needs to cover all areas of the property. Video surveillance can also be a strong deterrent to vandalism and violence on school campuses.
3) Install an Access Control System
Unfortunately, vandals aren’t the only worry for school administrators and parents. Ensuring that only people how have the authority to access your buildings or specific areas of your school is becoming paramount in today’s climate of violence on campuses. Access control can range from number pads to card readers to high tech biometric hand and finger scanners – meaning only those with passwords, badges or biometric markers can enter buildings or secure areas. Combined with video surveillance, administrators can monitor who approaches a building and grant or deny access if the person (such as a parent or volunteer) does not have prior authority to access an area.
4) Have Students Paint a Mural
If there’s a particular building or outside of wall that’s being targeted with graffiti, consider having the students paint a mural over it. This isn’t a fool-proof way to protect your school from graffiti vandalism, but it may help. GraffitHurts.org reports that vandals rarely tag paint brush murals. Besides, students are sure to appreciate the fun hands-on experience of painting a mural.
5) Install an Alarm System
We can’t talk about ways to protect a school from vandalism without mentioning an alarm system. A professional-grade alarm system will create an invisible barrier of protection around your school. In the event that a vandal or some other individual with nefarious intent enters the building during the “off” hours, the alarm will trip, creating a loud audible buzz or siren while simultaneously notifying the respective monitoring company.
6) Connect with the Community
Last but not least, seek help from the community in protecting your school from vandalism. It’s in the community’s best interest to preserve the integrity of the educational system, so most citizens will gladly offer their assistance. Whether this includes reporting suspicious activity, donating money for repairs, or volunteering to clean up vandalized property, connecting with the local community is a step towards creating a safer learning environment for everyone.
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