A new survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs and commissioned by Avigilon revealed some startling findings about opinions on school safety and security in North America.
By Rob Colman
• Communication is key – While school safety is a real and growing concern, many believe that parents are not made aware of the security measures in place at their children’s schools. Fewer than one in six adults in the U.S. (16%) and only one in ten (11%) in Canada agree that these measures are clearly communicated.
• Video surveillance is preferred – Majorities of those in U.S. (60%) and Canada (52%) say that they would prefer that their children or children of their loved ones go to a school with surveillance cameras over one without.
• Keeping schools safe – For about four in ten adults on both sides of the border (37% in the U.S. and 41% in Canada), having the doors locked at all times is deemed as the most effective way to keep schools safe. Opinions diverge, however, when it comes to armed guards; three in ten U.S. adults see this as the most effective way of keeping schools safe compared to only one in ten (11%) Canadians.
• North American security suggestions – In the U.S., other means volunteered by 1% of those polled as being most effective in terms of keeping schools safe include, gun control laws, metal detectors, employees carrying concealed weapons, religion in school, and other mentions. In Canada, other mentions volunteered by respondents include educating children (1%).
“The use of high-definition surveillance and access control in schools are key security measures,”
said Bryan Schmode, executive vice president of global sales at Avigilon. “With advanced technology, educators can help keep unwanted individuals off school property, address bullying, and ensure high enrollment while making budgets go further. We’ve seen success around the world when campuses adopt the Avigilon system. For example the University of Sydney saw a 25% year-over-year reduction in crime.
Other key findings regarding differing opinions in the US and Canada are:
• Show schools the money – While majorities of adults in both countries say that schools are underfunded but that we need to make safety a priority, those in the U.S. are more likely to feel this way than are those in Canada (68% vs. 60%). Likewise, U.S. adults are more likely to feel that current funding allocated to school safety is inadequate (52% vs. 42% of Canadians).
• Concerns differ – Adults in the U.S. (54%) are more likely than those in Canada (40%) to say that they are more concerned about children’s safety at school than they were a year ago.