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As gun incidents grow, schools have beefed up security significantly in recent years

K-12 Schools

As gun incidents grow, schools have beefed up security significantly in recent years

Two-thirds control access to campuses, not just buildings.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | January 25, 2023
As gun incidents grow, schools have beefed up security significantly in recent years Photo by  Kindel Media via Pexels
Photo by Kindel Media via Pexels

Recently released federal data shows that U.S. schools have significantly raised security measures in recent years.

About two-thirds of public schools now control access to school grounds—not just the building—up from about half in the 2017-18 school year. Some 43% of schools have a “panic button” or silent alarm that connects directly with police in case of emergency, up from 29% five years ago.

A strong majority, 78%, outfit classrooms with locks, up from 65% a few years ago. Random metal detector use was reported in 9% of schools, with 6% using this equipment daily. Many schools have campus police, but just 3% arm teachers or other non-security employees.

Last year, more than 330 people were fatally shot or wounded on school grounds, up from 218 in 2018, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database, a research project that tracks incidents of a gun being fired or brandished on school property.

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