While gun violence in schools is in fact a hot topic right now, the fact is that out of all of the potential threats to young children, gun violence still only affects a very few. While there will probably be no easy and simple answers to protecting schools from gun violence, there are a number of other safety issues that affect children that technology may provide answers to.
Here are three ways school safety can be improved by technology.
Parents and educators often feel they have the best insights into the kinds of dangers threatening their kids. In many cases, however, they are trying to fix issues children themselves don't actually feel threatened by. One of the best ways to find out when and how kids do not feel safe is by asking them, but they may not feel comfortable being put on the spot by such questions.
Online surveys help anonymize responses, so children feel more comfortable being honest. That way, parents and adults can deal with not only the real threats they understand that children may not, but also the lesser threats children actually feel more threatened by. Also, surveys in combination with public school risk assessment software can be a powerful information duo.
GPS tags and locators remain a constant point of debate in the issue between freedom and safety. Some parents don't necessarily want their children's activities constantly monitored while at school, while others feel the benefits far outweigh the costs to their children's freedom. Regardless of the "political" issues, however, there can be no doubt that GPS technology can be a powerful tool for keeping children safe at school.
There is no question that teachers cannot be everywhere, and bullies and other ne'er-do-wells are generally highly adept at avoiding the watchful eyes of protective adults in schools. Panic alert buttons or bracelets can help keep children safe thanks to their ability to alert adults to their need for help. Both school bullies and adults with malicious intent may be less likely to engage in predatory activities when they know help is just a button press away.
These are just a few of the ways technology can help create safer schools. Keeping in mind, of course, that not all threats to students come from without—some of the more realistic threats may actually come from within the school walls. Technology can actually help level the playing field and may one day give kids a means of helping to protect themselves, rather than just simply calling for help.
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