7 Common School Security Myths
In a few weeks, school is back in session! You know your home or business can be the target of thieves, but there are many myths floating around about school security.
We’re going to talk about seven common myths today.
1. Burglars Don’t Target Schools
It’s a common assumption that burglars only target residential homes and not schools, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
In fact, some burglars may specifically target schools for their computer equipment, televisions, and other valuables. Schools are increasingly using more mobile and portable devices such as laptops and iPads/Chromebooks, which are easy to steal and then sell.
Thieves often bring backpacks to store looted goods and blend in with students. So, don’t assume that your school campus isn’t a risk for burglary just because there’s no cash on the premises.
2. Locked Doors Are Enough to Prevent Burglary
While keeping doors lock is an essential step in reducing the risk of burglary, it’s not fool-proof. Burglars may gain entry into the school by breaking the lock, smashing a window, or even climbing in through the roof.
Even if you have a perimeter fence protecting your entire campus, determined thieves will figure out a way to get over it.
3. It’s Usually Strangers Who Burglarize Schools
More often than not, people who burglarize schools have first-hand knowledge of the school. Maybe they previously attended the school, or they are currently enrolled.
Employees and contractors pose additional threats. Even volunteers can turn out to be thieves. This first-hand knowledge allows them to navigate the school more easily, as they know exactly where the school stores the electronics and valuable equipment.
4. You Can Trust PTO/PTA Officers with Funds
While the vast majority of these volunteers work diligently to raise funds for their schools, PTA and PTO officers have been found guilty of embezzling money from their organizations’ coffers. This usually happens when only one person is responsible for handling and tracking funds.
5. Insurance Will Cover the Damage
Granted, there’s some truth to this statement — insurance will typically cover stolen and damaged property that occurs during a school burglary.
Depending on the extent of the burglary/vandalism, however, you may be forced to temporarily close your school until they replace the equipment or repair the damage.
If vandals damaged plumbing, electrical or other key infrastructure systems, your school will need to repair them before the school can reopen.
6. Burglary Isn’t a Problem in My School’s Area
Even if the crime rate is low in your school’s city/region, there’s always the possibility of a burglary occurring. Some burglars travel across towns or even state lines to target wealthier schools that have more items worth stealing.
7. Theft is Inevitable, So There’s Not Much I Can Do to Prevent It
There are plenty of things you can do to protect your school from theft and vandalism. Chances are you already know some of these school security ideas, but others may surprise you.
Tips to Improve Your Schools Security
- Contact the local police department to request a school resource officer.
- Install a video surveillance system in and around your school’s premises.
- Install a monitored security system, complete with sensors on all doors and windows in your school.
- Install access control systems, such as card, keypad or biometric readers on external doors and on rooms where the school stores valuable items.
- Check the lighting around your school. Replace broken or blown lights for stronger security.
- Trim away overgrown brush and trees around your school.
- Conduct regular security audits to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities.
- Install reinforced security glass in windows and door window panels.
- Set up an anonymous tip line that staff or students can call/text if they suspect or witness illegal activity.