Survey finds US schools ramping up safety measures - KMOV.com

Survey finds US schools ramping up safety measures

(Credit: CNN) A file photograph showing an American Flag and empty student desks inside an Atlanta, Georgia school. (Credit: CNN) A file photograph showing an American Flag and empty student desks inside an Atlanta, Georgia school.
By KIMBERLY HEFLING
AP Education Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. public schools beefed up security measures with safety drills and parent notification systems in the years surrounding the massacre at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to a government survey released Thursday.

The uptick came during a four-year span that saw an overall decrease in violent crime reported by schools, but one that included high-profile incidents such as the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings in December 2012 that left 20 children and six educators dead.

The findings, from the 2013-14 school year, come from the National Center for Education Statistics.

The survey found that 88 percent of public schools had a written plan of how to respond to an active shooter, and that 7 out of 10 had drills to practice the plan. About three-quarters of schools reported using security cameras, and 43 percent said they used security personnel at least once a week.

Even before the Newtown killings, schools had been working more closely with local law enforcement and ramping up other school security measures, said Ronald Stephens, executive director of the National School Safety Center.

"I think something like Sandy Hook certainly punctuates the need to engage additional security strategies, but I really see it as an ongoing trend," he said.

Stephens said he believes the work has been a factor in a decrease in overall school crime.

The survey showed 65 percent of public schools reporting one violent incident in school, such as a rape, fight, robbery or threat of physical attack. That's down from 74 percent in the 2009-10 school year, when the survey was last administered.

The findings were based on a survey sent to school principals. Among the other results:

-About 8 in 10 schools reported having a parent notification system that automatically notifies parents in case of an emergency, compared with about 6 in 10 four years earlier.

-Slightly less than half - 47 percent - of schools reported having a system that allowed someone to report a crime anonymously, compared with 36 percent four years earlier.

Despite the reported decreases in violent school crime, Ken Trump, a school safety consultant, said personnel in the schools he's visited don't have a sense that the number of incidents is going down.

"We're hearing people saying we're having a lot more problems with aggressive kids and such," Trump said.

___

Follow Kimberly Hefling on Twitter: http://twitter.com/khefling

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Deadly California wildfire continues to grow

    Deadly California wildfire continues to grow

    Friday, December 15 2017 3:25 AM EST2017-12-15 08:25:25 GMT
    Saturday, December 16 2017 12:27 AM EST2017-12-16 05:27:58 GMT
    The first firefighter has died in the battle against a series of major wildfires burning across Southern California.More >
    The first firefighter has died in the battle against a series of major wildfires burning across Southern California.More >
  • Lubbock restaurant defending controversial sign some are calling racist

    Lubbock restaurant defending controversial sign some are calling racist

    Controversial sign hanging on the wall of Cook's Garage in Lubbock (Source: Cook's Garage Facebook page)Controversial sign hanging on the wall of Cook's Garage in Lubbock (Source: Cook's Garage Facebook page)

    The neon sign is a caricature of an African-American man, with a porter's cap, with the words Coon Chicken Inn written inside the mouth. The issue came up after a person attending a company Christmas party on Wednesday night at Cook's Garage noticed the sign hanging on the wall. 

    More >

    The neon sign is a caricature of an African-American man, with a porter's cap, with the words Coon Chicken Inn written inside the mouth. The issue came up after a person attending a company Christmas party on Wednesday night at Cook's Garage noticed the sign hanging on the wall. 

    More >
  • GOP leaders finalize biggest tax overhaul in 3 decades

    GOP leaders finalize biggest tax overhaul in 3 decades

    Friday, December 15 2017 2:56 PM EST2017-12-15 19:56:33 GMT
    House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is pursued by reporters in the Capitol after signing the conference committee report to advance the GOP tax bill, in Washington, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is pursued by reporters in the Capitol after signing the conference committee report to advance the GOP tax bill, in Washington, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Republicans finalized their sweeping tax package Friday, expanding the child tax credit to placate a reluctant GOP senator as they pushed to muscle the bill through Congress next week.

    More >

    Republicans finalized their sweeping tax package Friday, expanding the child tax credit to placate a reluctant GOP senator as they pushed to muscle the bill through Congress next week.

    More >
Powered by Frankly