Just 16% of K-12 schools actually badge students and staff, according to a recently-released nationwide survey of the American Association of School Administrators. More significantly, there is a surprising difference in this rate among regions of the country.
While 16% of respondents said staff and students are badged, another 35% reported that staff only are badged. Some 20% say badges exist but aren’t enforced and 28% don’t use badges at all. Just 4% of the western states, such as California and Washington, reported badging students and staff. Compare that to a high of nearly 26% of respondents in the northeast, such as New York and Connecticut. Additionally, about 45% of responders from the western states say badges aren’t used at all.
However, more than 85% of respondents require all visitors to sign in and receive a badge.
What’s not so surprising is that nearly 80% of administrators responding to the survey describe their funding level as “stretched” or “inadequate.” One of the study’s findings points out that this lack of funding could be directly tied to the fact that not a single respondent reported all doors can be locked down electronically in the event of an emergency, which “represents a potentially problematic situation.”
The study did offer some recommendations regarding building access:
- Improve and/or enforce fundamental building access practices, such as visitor management, controlling access through measures involving sign-in/sign-out and requirements to display identification while moving about the property;
- Require visible staff ID badges, or uniforms, that identify school personnel such as faculty, staff and substitutes;
- Implement a closed campus policy where all exterior doors are closed and locked when the facility is occupied, with visitors having to enter through the main entrance and sign-in at the main office.
The survey was conducted last year by AASA, security provider Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies and security consultant RETA Security on the status of safety and security in America’s K-12 public schools.