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Giving Compass' Take:
• The RAND Corporation compiled research around the use of safety technology to reduce gun violence in schools.
• What are the potential negative effects of introducing more technology in schools? How can we make children feel safe without implementing new technology?
• Technology in schools is not the only solution being proposed. Entrepreneurs are trying to develop 'smart guns' as a possible solution to gun violence.
Once again the country is dealing with the aftermath of another mass shooting and in the midst of a national debate about the best way to keep children safe at school. At the forefront of our national consciousness are mass shootings like the one last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that led survivors of the shooting to organize Saturday's March for Our Lives, a nationwide protest.
In Parkland, a former student shot and killed 17 people on campus on Valentine's Day. Since 1996 there have been eight mass shootings at schools, defined as incidents involving more than four deaths, excluding the assailant.
While the focus on mass shootings is warranted, it may eclipse the more common forms of violence students face. Every year about three out of four public schools report at least one incident of serious violence such as a fight or physical attack. One in five students is bullied, one in 12 has been in a physical fight and one in 20 has carried a weapon onto school property.
It's obvious that when it comes to keeping kids safe at school, the country is failing. But how can the U.S. do better?
While the research is far from conclusive, it suggests that schools need to carefully invest in school safety technology. Moreover, if investments are made in technology alone without taking into consideration school climates—and how engaged and welcomed students feel in their classrooms—the answer to the question, “Is the U.S. doing enough to keep its students safe?” is likely to be a resounding “no.”
Read more about safety technology for schools by Heather L. Schwarts, Jessica Saunders and Rajeev Ramchand at RAND Corporation