School Security :: February 13, 2007

Security Spotlight

The Three 'R's Now Include an 'S' for Security

Times have changed, and life has changed in schools throughout the world since April 20, 1999, the day of the fatal attacks at Columbine High School in unincorporated Jefferson County, Colorado. Concerns over student safety and security have risen perceptibly, bolstered further by more recent examples of school violence around the United States and abroad.

These incidents have led to a broader awareness among school and district personnel, as well as parents and students, about the need for a well thought out emergency response program—not just for the unpredictable incidents that occasionally make the national news, but also for the more mundane potentialities that can threaten student safety.

But what are the ingredients of a good crisis response plan? Obviously there's no way to tell how effective a plan is until it's put to the test. But if you ask those who are involved with emergency response in the districts that have been through the worst-possible-case scenario, the plan must combine deterrence with human response, technology with law enforcement--all balanced with a view toward preserving the comfort and privacy of the students themselves....

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Plans To Scan Student Fingerprints Called Off

Plans to start a student finger-scanning system at University High School to make lunch lines and record keeping more efficient have been stopped by the Irvine Unified School District after parents complained of its possible Big Brother effect.

The high school was to use the new technology to make it faster and easier for students to buy meals, check out books, register their attendance, and buy school event tickets.

It could have many different uses, said Chuck Keith, assistant principal at the high school. Keith came up with the idea after watching a special about school technology on CNN. The project was put on hold after parents complained about the "new millennium technology," he said.

"It ruffled some feathers," Keith said....

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Conroe ISD To Improve Emergency Response with SASI

Conroe Independent School District (CISD) in Conroe, TX has contracted with SASI Consulting to work on the district's emergency response and preparedness programs in conjunction with Harris County Department of Education. Last summer the district received a grant from the United States Department of Education for the purpose....

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Castleberry Installs Rapid Responder

Castleberry Independent School District (CISD) in Texas has installed a crisis management system called Rapid Responder from Prepared Response. CISD had been awarded an Emergency Response and Crisis Management grant for more than $100,000 and, as part of the grant, will install Rapid Responder in all of the its elementary, middle and high schools, as well as administration facilities...

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Data Protection

AirWave Wireless Management Suite 5.0 Boosts Security Features

At Gartner's Wireless and Mobile Summit in Grapevine, TX, AirWave last week debuted its AirWave Wireless Management Suite 5.0 (AWMS) software. AirWave is a developer of wireless security and management solutions. The update to its AWMS expands management and security capabilities and sees the launch of a new "Enterprise Edition" that adds support for multi-processor servers.

AWMS 5.0, according to AirWave, expands support for WiFi solutions, including controller-based systems and autonomous access points, as well as mesh and WiMax infrastructure. On the security side, it adds a custom compliance audit feature, which allows security teams to customize alerts for specific configuration violations. This is designed to ensure compliance without flooding IT with "thousands of meaningless alarms," AirWave said....

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Lightspeed Takes Databases Public

K-12 security software developer Lightspeed Systems has made public its databases of Web content, programs and viruses, creating a searchable archive of software security threats. The service is available to the public and can be accessed at

The "Lightspeed Archive," as the company calls it, provides three search fields that allow users to search for specific Web sites and Web site content, software programs and known viruses, Trojan horses , key loggers, spyware and hacker tools. A search for specific Web sites calls up known information from that site, including the reason for the site being identified as a threat....

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Facilities Protection

Burglary Deterrent Mimics Human Surveillance

Few schools can afford to hire security personnel for campus surveillance around the clock. But a new burglary deterrent product from Cross Point Industries is designed to make facilities appear to be staffed. The product, Ground Observing Reconnaissance Transmitter (GORT), is an automated system for outdoor use that detects activity, turns on a light and rotate the light to follow "intruders," giving the impression that a human operator is behind the controls watching and recording them....

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School Laptops Taken: South Oklahoma City School Targeted Repeatedly by Thieves

A South Oklahoma City school has been broken into at least 12 times in the last year, three times since Christmas break, with thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment being stolen.

More than $24,000 of equipment stolen this week hadn't even been used by students.

"We've had so many break-ins over the last year, I really can't remember [how many]," said Coolidge Elementary School Principal Sue Greenfield. "They [thieves] know what they are after."

Most of the items stolen over the past year were bought with MAPS for Kids technology money. Added to other property and equipment losses since January 2006, thefts have cost the school nearly $43,000....

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Coming Up

  • MAR 19-21, 2007
    Conference on Global Terrorism: Preparing For the Next Attack
    Managing Risk in an Uncertain World
    ASIS International
    Arlington, VA
  • MAR 28-30, 2007
    ISC West
    Las Vegas, NV
  • MAY 24-27, 2007
    CPM West 2007
    Las Vegas, NV