AI and Physical Safety in Schools

Report Examines School Safety and Threat Response Tech Solutions

Parks Associates has released a new report, “Leveraging Tech to Improve Security and Safety in Schools,” an overview of how technologies utilizing AI and machine learning can initiate a rapid response to a threat situation and how legislation and training can support that goal.

The paper notes that there is no standard or mandate uniformly applied across the nation’s 130,930 public and private K–12 schools, based on National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data. During the 2019-20 school year, one or more violent events occurred on 70% of school campuses, and 25% experienced serious violent incidents, NCES found.

Looking to move beyond only lockdowns as a response to such incidents, the paper explains how AI and machine learning (ML) work, with two primary ML techniques, human-supervised and unsupervised. Automated AI responses such as “situational awareness” video cameras, gunshot detection, panic buttons, and automated calls can help human response in an emergency. The white paper examines tech such as personal emergency response systems (PERS), smart tags, audio/visual monitoring technology to screen visitors, firearm detection, visitor counts, teacher-controlled remote door locking, two-way wireless protocols, and software systems that integrate existing security measures and can be easily incorporated in a building’s existing construction. Recent federal and state legislation and funding sources that can make the process of purchasing such measures less burdensome on schools are also outlined.

Parks Associates is a market research and consulting company specializing in researching emerging technology and partnering with companies that provide tech solutions for consumer and small to medium businesses and education. Go to this page to access the white paper. For more about Parks Associates, visit their home page.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.