School security has become a hot button issue. According to Statista, there were 249 K-12 school shootings in the USA in 2021. That’s more than double the number in 2020 and about five times the number in 2017. This is only one of the reasons school security cameras are becoming more popular.
The desire to keep children and faculty safe has seen a dramatic rise in the number of schools installing security cameras as part of their security system.
When done right, security cameras in schools provide improved security, reducing the chances of violence as well as vandalism and theft, while also preserving privacy. Solink has video surveillance solutions tailored to the school and campus setting.
To see how Solink can help secure your educational environment, sign up for a demo today.
Why do schools need security cameras?
Schools are increasingly concerned with the safety of their students, faculty, staff, and facilities. Security cameras are part of a comprehensive security system. That’s why they are being accepted by more communities as part of their schools’ security measures.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost 80% of elementary schools have security cameras as part of their security system. This number rises to about 94% for high schools.
Schools choose to install security cameras for several reasons. Here are just a few of the main reasons:
- Deter violence and crime.
- Monitor ongoing bullying issues.
- Discourage vandalism and trespassing.
- Make it easier to monitor the security perimeter (entrances, parking lots, etc.).
- Share real-time video with emergency responders during incidence (active shooters, fires, etc.).
The National Institute of Justice recently confirmed the effectiveness of security cameras as a component of a school’s security infrastructure.
With the increased focus on school safety and the confirmed effectiveness of security cameras, it is easy to see why they are installed on campuses. The Education Commission of the States has summarized the requirements for K-12 security systems across the 50 states and Washington D.C. Most states require school boards to have a specific school security system plan in place, which may include the need for cameras.
The next three sections discuss how to set up a school security system.
Best practices for school security cameras
Schools often operate under strong budget constraints. They might not have the staff required to operate highly technical infrastructure alone. Schools also might be stuck with older cameras that need to be integrated into a new security system.
Encrypted remote video monitoring by multiple users
Solink gives you access to your camera feeds from anywhere. The data is transferred securely to ensure the privacy of your staff and students. Furthermore, you can set up multiple accounts, each with their own level of access, so authorized users can view the videos they need to.
First responder real-time video access
In the event of a school shooting, fire, or other major incident, school administrators can directly share the Solink video feed with emergency responders on their laptop or mobile device. This helps responders to react appropriately.
Flexible video storage
Solink can change the level of video storage capacity to fit your needs. Whether your school board or state/province mandates 30 or 90 days of video storage, we can accommodate those requirements.
Simple and low-cost deployment
Solink is simple to set up. We can arrange for installation or work with your preferred installer. The lower upfront cost with no long-term contract to sign makes it easy to deploy Solink in educational settings.
Camera agnostic with no servers to maintain
Solink can work with almost every video surveillance camera on the market. If you don’t have cameras installed yet or you are looking to upgrade to the newest tech, we can source cameras or work with the cameras you have.
If you are ready to see how Solink can help keep your education environment safe and secure, sign up for a demo today.
Common types of security cameras used in schools
Schools generally use some combination of the following three security camera types:
- Bullet security cameras
- PTZ security cameras
- 360 security cameras
Bullet security cameras for schools
Bullet cameras are versatile and can be installed both indoors and outdoors. They can provide high-quality video in a specific direction. They are often installed in hallways or facing the entrance to schools.
PTZ security cameras for schools
PTZ stands for “pan, tilt, zoom,” the three capabilities these security cameras have over standard bullet cameras. PTZ security cameras can be manually adjusted using a remote control system to see a wider area or zoom in on some event.
360 security cameras for schools
These security cameras are named for the 360 degree view they provide. When mounted on the ceiling of a wide open area, for example a cafeteria, auditorium, or basketball court, they provide a complete view of the entire area.
Where should you place security cameras in schools?
There are many places in a school where you should consider placing security cameras. Here are five places that you should consider putting cameras in your school, in order of importance.
Intruder detection during the day and deterring trespassers at night require a layer of perimeter security. Security cameras pointing at the inside and outside of every entrance connected to the Solink platform can notify you when someone is entering the building outside of designated times.
Hallways and corridors
Students congregate in the halls before and after classes and cameras can monitor their behavior. Setting up alerts during classes will also allow you to be notified of unusual activity in the hallways when students are supposed to be in class learning.
Parking lots and sports fields
Parking lots and sports fields represent common locations for theft and vandalism. It is important to have video surveillance of these areas to deter and document criminal activity.
Gyms, auditoriums, and cafeterias
Students often have more freedom and less oversight during lunch periods. Unfortunately, this can lead to more incidents. Having well-placed 360 degree cameras gives school administrators a complete view of everything happening in gyms, auditoriums, and cafeterias.
Classroom cameras are a controversial topic, which is why they are last in this list. The proponents argue classroom security cameras provide a safe learning environment for students, give educators a secure workplace, and improve the emergency readiness of the school by reducing camera blind spots and helping responders see where students are during an event.
Opponents are mostly concerned that classroom cameras will have a negative impact on the academic performance of students. In addition, many video surveillance companies have high startup fees and long contracts, and committing to such ongoing expenses can be difficult for public entities.
The benefits of school security cameras
School security cameras keep students safe and secure so they can focus on learning. However, the benefits don’t end there. Here are some of the ways security cameras make schools safer.
Improve emergency preparedness and response
Security cameras can help school administrators improve the emergency preparedness of staff and students. Video footage of emergency drills can be used to pinpoint weak spots during the training exercises and prioritize them for further practice.
During an event, access to real-time videos may be granted to emergency responders within the Solink platform. Giving emergency services the ability to see what is happening in facilities improves their response. They can quickly identify where threats exist, who needs help, and the safest and fastest way to end the incident.
Decrease theft and vandalism
Security cameras deter criminal activity. When someone sees that they are being surveilled, they know that it is more likely that they will be caught. This decreases the motivation to commit a crime.
Theft and vandalism occur across school campuses, including inside and outside schools and in the parking lot. Comprehensive security camera coverage makes it harder for thieves or vandals to escape prosecution. This quickly tells criminals that your school is off limits.
Monitor bullying and violence
Teachers cannot be everywhere at once. Students often have less supervision between classes, during lunch, and at special school events. These periods give bullies a chance to act. One of the most effective bullying deterrents is reducing the time periods where bullying can happen without repercussions.
Create a safe learning environment for teachers and students
It can be hard to find and retain good teachers. One way to reduce burnout and prevent teacher turnover is to support their work environment with the added safety of video surveillance. If teachers feel safe at work and know that their administrators are supporting them, then the job of teaching is a little less stressful.
For students, studying is already stressful. The last thing they need is the worry of a school shooting or daily bullying keeping them up at night. Security cameras make schools safer so students can focus on their education.
Control school building access
Schools need to maintain a strong perimeter defense, during the day and outside of school hours. Trespassers at night represent a high risk for theft or vandalism. During the day, unregistered visitors might be a security threat. Solink can help in both these situations by providing alerts to unusual motion near the entrances to your schools. With Solink’s Video Alarms Monitoring Service, you’ll be notified on your mobile device whenever activity is detected during designated time periods.
Solink provides advanced security features for schools, colleges, and universities
Solink has tools built for educational institutions. We can work with almost all security cameras, and there’s no server to maintain. Our industry-leading customer service means the Solink platform won’t place a burden on your IT staff.
Furthermore, Solink’s no risk, no contract service agreement is perfect for public or not-for-profit organizations that experience unexpected budget changes.
To see how Solink can help with school security, sign up for a demo today.