Security Duty

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TrademarkTer, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Feb 24, 2019

    So in my school every teacher has a duty period. This will usually be hallway, study hall, cafeteria, media center, lockerroom, or attendance. Just last month they've started a new duty where the teacher is in charge of buzzing in vistors, checking ids (driver's licenses), and making sure to only let people in who should be coming in. This job used to be done by an armed security guard, but the security guard didn't want to be sitting all day doing that, so he now has a position essentially roaming the school. Luckily I was not assigned to this duty, but many of the teachers that got assigned to it have refused to do it because they don't feel comfortable with that responsibility given the current climate, and they've gotten the union involved. Now they've only been able to get the non-tenured teachers to agree to take the post. Does your school have a teacher in charge of this? Or an armed guard? Or someone else?
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    My school has 12 armed security guards on staff and we are looking to hire 3 more. As such, they are stationed throughout the campus, inside and outside. In the mornings when students arrive, there are two gurds who stand watch at the entrance alongside the principal as he greets students and parents dropping off their kids. The other ten (as or right now) roam the school at scheduled intervals and at random times so as not to be predictable.

    My school can easily afford them and so we spare no expense when it comes to student and staff safety. (Further, the probability of a gun shooting massacre occurring on our campus is practically nonexistent because of the high security we have.) In addition to having the guards stationed out front, they are also positioned along the periphery of the school grounds because we’ve had incidences where armed perpetrators tried to infiltrate the school grounds in the past or had people fleeing from the police try to enter our campus to hide. Well, that was a BIG mistake on their parts because the security guards took them down, and I’m talking body slammed and then held at gunpoint.

    ALL schools should have armed security personnel, in my opinion, and it should not fall on the teachers to police the students or school grounds (it doesn’t at my school). We should only have to supervise our students, in my opinion. And why do you only have 1 guard? That doesn’t seem safe to me, unless I’m reading your post incorrectly.

    Edit: And if one of our armed security guards decided he didn’t want to do his job as outlined by administration, then he would quickly find himself out of a job. The principal and CEO give the directives and he carries them out. If he doesn’t like that, then he can find employment elsewhere. Ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  4. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    We have two guards. One monitored the building and one was stationed up front. Up until 2 years ago we had 0, and people just came and went as they pleased.

    Safety is important, but you have 12 guards (and soon more?). I don't want to feel like I'm working in a prison.
     
  5. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    I'm in Canada. No guards. The secretaries buzz people in.
     
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  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    We have someone who is in charge of security. (She is not armed though.) We do not have any police officers at my school and it's generally a safe community.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I don’t feel like I’m working in a prison. I feel safe and secure. The public schools down the road have had their fair share of run-ins (through no fault of their own) with dangerous individuals who had weapons, and it shook the community. My private school, as aforementioned, has had its share of run-ins with criminals, which is why we don’t take any chances. Security should be paramount.

    How can only 2 guards safely secure an entire campus, especially as one as large as yours in terms of the student population? What if a small group of people try to storm your campus with guns? What then? My school would fair a lot better as the likelihood of them getting through 12 armed guards (soon to be 15) is almost zero as they are highly trained and take their jobs very seriously.
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Our office administrative assistants also buzz people in, but someone can still shoot through the glass and enter that way. That’s why we have people on the ground to repel them should it ever come to that. It makes the office staff feel at ease because they are right there and there have been rare occasions where people try to come in who shouldn’t and they would have no one to defend them otherwise. That’s why we always have two armed guards at the front of the school — they move back and forth between the front office and the adjacent corridors. Plus, the office staff and guards have walkie talkies at the ready, and so the guards can be notified at a moment’s notice. Not to mention, there are silent buzzers underneath the desks in the front office to contact security if it ever develops into a hostage situation. Should that happen, and I hope it never does, then ALL guards would converge on that location with their guns at the ready.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    What was your union’s stance on this?
     
  10. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    We have one school resource officer (he's an actual police officer whose job assignment is the high school for that semester). He usually wanders the halls, pulls out kids for discipline with the the AP/observes the interaction, monitors the parking lot, etc. Our doors are locked and people get buzzed in. We have security cameras that basically cover the whole school.

    No teacher has a security duty and I would not be fond of that.
     
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  11. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    They said tenured teachers should not complete the duty if they are not comfortable doing so, and that they should notify the admin if they will not be doing it. Several of the tenured teachers have done so. The union said they aren't sure they would be able to help to protect non-tenured teachers so they've suggested non-tenured teachers perform the duty. As such, all of the tenured teachers that said they wouldn't do the duty have been replaced with non-tenured ones. It's a sticky spot for a non-ternued teacher for sure.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    So your contract allows staff to be given security as an extra duty?
     
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  13. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Whoa! What states do you work in that have armed security guards???? We have security but they are all unarmed. We have one resource officer who is a real policeman who does have a gun but he is the only resource officer for many schools, not just ours.
     
  14. Ima Teacher

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    Our secretary does that. She monitors the camera at the front door, which is the only one people are allowed to enter during the school day. She checks ID’s of people checking out kids, although we are a small school and the office staff (2 people) generally know all of the people who pick up kids. Our building does not have security guards.

    We have a district police force. (Which, currently, is one retired state trooper.)

    We have five schools. The preschool, primary, and intermediate schools don’t deal with the resource officers often, to my knowledge. I’m at the middle school, which is on the same campus as the high school.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I work at a well-to-do private school in California. We hired armed security guards because of the threats we’ve encountered in the past (four in the last five years). We now don’t take any chances and if an armed perpetrator comes on campus and draws their weapon they will be shot and killed, plain and simple.
     
  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    One officer for many schools? Good grief.
     
  17. Ima Teacher

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    Our entire county & city police force combined doesn’t have 15 people. My rural, small-town brain had to process that one for awhile.

    My DH teaches in a much larger district, but I know his school doesn’t have a security guard. They do have a resource officer. Their building is on the same campus as the high school, so that person is shared, I believe.
     
  18. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We have one armed resource officer. We also have three unarmed security guards. Out ROTC instructors, as well as some coaches, also serve in that capacity at times.
     
  19. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    What?! My town has at least several hundred police officers...
     
  20. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    This is bizarre to me that such a duty would be given to teachers. My husband's general job is an armed security guard (technically he trains them and does boring office stuff, but at the end of the day he is a licensed armed security guard). He's in general favor of schools having security officers and he's in favor of teachers who are licensed to conceal carry to do so (our state allows teachers to do so), but making random unarmed teachers take that responsibility? Yikes!
     
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  21. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    :yeahthat:
     
  22. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I have a license to carry concealed, but I wouldn’t want to do so at school without a lot of additional training, and I sure wouldn’t want to do it unarmed as duty.
     
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  23. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Our entire county is around 14,000. My university had twice as many people as my hometown, and they were in a much smaller area. It was an adjustment.
     
  24. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    When I first started here, and for the first 3 years students were not allowed to bring in any electronics and we had a very strict dresscode.
    We had a metal detector students would come though, and 1 teacher (on a rotation basis, weeks at a time) was assigned to check in the items, check dresscode, and ensure students didn't have anything on them. This meant walk through the metal detector, if they beeped, student would empty pockets and repeat. we had a ziplock bag for every student to put their cell phones, eletctronics, head phone, anything that was red or blue, etc. as well as any headwear.
    We often but not always had an armed probation officer there with us, he also had a handwand to check students if necessary.
    We used to have 2 armed probation officers on campus every single day, then slowly they were here less and less and for the past couple of years we hardly see one here and there.

    We no longer perform these duties because students are able to have their phones or electronics, the metal detector has been long gone and no teachers are in the front office. Secretary handles everything else.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  25. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Futuremathprof,

    I think context matters. Yes, someone could shoot out the glass in a school. Someone could also kill me on the road on the way to work because of road rage. I still don't drive a car with bullet proof glass and a security guard inside. Canadian schools are pretty safe without security guards.

    I couldn't comment on the risks in California as I've never lived or worked there.
     
  26. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I am not aware of the gun laws or crime statistics in Canada, so I would agree that we shouldn’t compare Canadian schools with U.S. schools. With that said, I did provide context. Did I not state that we had four incidents in the last five years? And each of which involved dangerous criminals. Before, we only had four security guards — I didn’t state that part. Ever since, we’ve tripled our security staff to ensure that students and staff are safe and we want to add three more to ensure that all entrances and exits at our campus are routinely patrolled.

    We don’t want to become another Columbine. Had that school and others like it been armed to the teeth like mine, then I sincerely doubt there would have been as much carnage as a result.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  27. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    FMP,

    I answered the original question by stating, "I'm in Canada. No guards. The secretaries buzz people in." Your response to my post started "Our office administrative assistants also buzz people in, but someone can still shoot through the glass and enter that way."

    So, when I said context matters I was referring to your response to my post. In Canada, I'm no more worried about someone shooting in the windows at my school than I am of someone shooting in the window of my car during a road rage incident. Both are possible. Neither are probable.

    This is a pretty accurate list of school shootings in Canada, including K-12 schools and post-secondary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:School_shootings_in_Canada. If you scroll over the dates, you will see it is something we all have to take seriously and prepare for but it is probably fair to say it doesn't happen all that often.
     
  28. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Yes, but it is much more probable in the United States. Banks get robbed every single day in the US, but it’s still a rare occurrence. However, it still makes sense for banks to have armed guards. Having armed guards in a school is no different. You would think after all the school shootings in the US or attempted shootings that you would get it, Always_Learning.

    We have a Constitutional amendment which gives people the right to bare arms in the US unlike in Canada. Also, there are over 300 million guns owned by private citizens in the US. I’ll take my chances with the armed guards, thank you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  29. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    FMP,

    I really wasn't trying to debate this with you. I simply answered the question the OP posed.

    As for "getting it," my perspective (in the Canadian context) is that there is a limited amount of funding in Canada for education and given the risk/reward ratio, I don't think it makes sense to spend our funding for education on armed guards. While it seems like a straight forward argument to spend money on armed guards because it may saves lives, there is also a cost. The money spent there can't be spent elsewhere. So the question for me is does it make more sense to spend the money on armed guards or the other things that money could be spent on.

    In Canada, we make the same decisions about health care. Health care is funded but the government can't fund everything so it has to decide. What treatments have a high enough likelihood of success to warrant the cost to the taxpayer. There isn't endless money. Given the number of school shootings, in Canada armed guards are an expense that probably isn't worth the cost. Providing mental health counselling in high schools, for example, will probably save more lives (with the same amount of money) than having armed guards. We can't afford everything so we have to as a society make those decisions. In Canada, we choose to spend money on mental health before security guards. Given our context, that makes sense.

    The other part of that is how having armed guards impacts students and their sense of belonging. There has actually been a LOT of debate in Canada about the presence of police liaisons in school and the public is really split on it: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/police-in-toronto-schools-1.4163975

    I think that spending it on preventative measures, creating equity in the country, etc is a better use of the money.

    I'm okay that you think I don't "get it." I wasn't trying to make a judgement of the US approach. I was simply answering the OPs question.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
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  30. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I see. I now understand your point of view and please don’t think I’m arguing with you.

    In my private school’s case, it has over $60 million in reserves that is steadily growing at 5-8% interest (and in the next several years this amount is projected to exceed $100 million), an annual budget of $20-$30 million, and it regularly boasts an annual surplus of $1-2 million, on the average. Thus, we don’t mind hiring armed security because it’s well within our budget. We can afford it and it gives my colleagues and I peace of mind knowing that we are well protected. Even more so because there are statistics that show teachers are the ones who always die first if an armed person gains entry to an occupied classroom.

    Another reason why I think having armed security is superior to teacher checkpoints is that it is, in fact, preventative because studies have shown that even having a cardboard cutout of a policeman in front of a store deters theft. This is because it causes thieves to think about the consequences of their committing a crime. In the extreme case, imagine having 15 armed security guards staring you down with their hands on their gun holsters, ready to fire at a moment’s notice. If you were an armed gunman, wouldn’t that make you think twice about shooting up the school? Do you think you would get far if you drew your gun?

    My thought process is this: If you (not Canadian school districts but whoever) can afford it, then why not? We can, so there is no problem.

    Lastly, I’ll finish with this: During lockdowns, we don’t worry about someone unauthorized entering our campus as they would encounter very heavy resistance and most likely death, so the price for protection pales in comparison to what it offers to our school. That is why I said what I said because we are just not willing to take chances in today’s dangerous climate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019

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