It seems like recently, national news networks are covering more school violence stories than ever before. Sometimes it feels as though every time you turn on the television or go online, it’s impossible to avoid hearing about a new school shooting, whether at an elementary, middle, or high school. Even community colleges and established universities have fallen victim to such crimes.
So the great question remains, “Do we need school security guards?” To help you arrive at an answer, here is a list of pros and cons for hiring security guards at schools:
PROSConstant Watchfulness Having someone alertly monitor school grounds helps prevent crimes altogether, because it means that the person watching can help put a stop to the initial stages of the crime before anyone gets hurt or property is damaged. It also shows potential perpetrators that they’re neither invisible nor invincible, and that someone is following their every move. Internal Crime Prevention Whether it’s kids fighting with each other, teenagers harassing their teachers, or professors crossing physical boundaries with their students, security guards can potentially protect schools from attacks of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse by working to prevent these acts. External Crime Protection Sometimes even when a school is a completely safe environment for students and employees, external forces can enter the scene and create chaos. Security guards can protect against unlawful trespassing, which by extension can also prevent against strangers bringing weapons onto campus, attempting to kidnap children, or stealing expensive equipment like computers and other electronic devices. Parental Assistance When security guards see kids getting harassed or bullied at school, they can get involved and stop the situation, but they can also talk to the children’s parents about it after school so the family can handle it properly at home. This is beneficial for both the bullies and those getting bullied, because each side can certainly (hopefully) learn a lesson from their parents.
CONSFear This may seem counterintuitive, but some schoolchildren feel distressed when they see uniformed authority figures. Even when they’re doing their best to follow all the rules, they may feel nervous and scared around security guards, particularly those with exposed firearms. Cost Hiring security guards, plus all the extra equipment they might potentially need (like surveillance cameras, CCTV monitors, and metal detectors), can very well impact a school’s already-tight budget. The cost of insurance for school security guards is another financial concern, especially since those with the certifications to carry guns and other weapons could warrant much higher premiums.
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