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Get students involved in securing schools

As the need for security increases, whether its K-12 or on college campuses, educators certainly don’t want to turn their schools into fortresses.

While certain elements, such as or metal detectors, may be necessary evils, some security experts believe that creating a good relationship with students could be just as important.

According to this article at Assa Abloy’s Future Lab Web site, one German school uses the crime prevention through environmental design principle in that if the students feel the classrooms belong to them, they will protect them. It’s what one risk management expert calls “territoriality.”

One teacher believes students can be her main allies at helping secure a school. The first task, she says, is to create groups of students which are small enough to be able to take responsibility.

“We have teaching groups of seven to nine teachers with three classes of altogether around 80 children,” she explains, “and they stay together all the way through their education.” The teachers get to know the children well. “I know who’s feeling unhappy today, I know what goes on at home, I can spot a child who has changed worryingly. And they know they can talk to us,” says the teacher.

The school emphasizes the “safe classroom”, where children are encouraged to feel secure “not only physically but also emotionally,” she adds. The students even help design the rooms.

Read more here.

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