background checks

Visitor Management Software: Security Technology Removes Stress

Students have always faced stress in school.  

 Making friends, trying to fit in, coming to terms with who they are, taking tests, all of this is creating significant stress to students.  

And now we add the fear violence at school.

Yes, as a former violent crime detective and father of five children in K-12 and college, I balance having realistic conversations with my kids and at the same time providing comfort.  Situational awareness and preparedness can reduce stress.

However, much of the public discussion about school violence running non-stop on TV or online news feeds is full of doom and despair.  Fear sells products and there is no shortage of shark security vendors peddling fear to parents and schools all in the name of earning a dollar.

Many of our political leaders, both sides of the aisles, do not understand violence prevention any more than most parents.  Yet they parade in front of microphones daily, espousing theories, many to grab headlines but will do little to move the safety needle in the right direction.

 The added stress of feeling safe

Just two weeks into the new school year, most students across the nation have already practiced a “lockdown” drill which includes turning off the lights, locking the classroom door, covering the windows, and crouching down near the windows or under desks.  

This week, I have seen communication with parents to let them know about upcoming active shooter drills and reunification.  Asking for their help in the reunification drill, to have a live simulation. All good.

However, I quickly learned in the communication where the schools reunification site was located.  Understanding that most school shootings involved students, are we playing our cards? Should our reunification site be another school location?  Yes or no. Not easy questions to answer. Some would say yes, that it creates smoother reunification process. Some on our team who have served on presidential security details would say no.

 Why?  What if it is a coordinate attack?  Can you envision students acting in concert to pull off an active shooter event?  Columbine?

 We need to be cautious about how much information we share.  Should we use a “practice” reunification site that does not give away our strategy?  At a minimum, we should have a primary and secondary location for reunification.

 There is no doubt that school safety is a prominent concern – and it should be. Though it is good to prepare students for what to do in an emergency, it is also imperative that schools utilize the latest safety technology to help secure their buildings and bring some peace of mind to their staff, educators, and students.

 Make no mistake, security technology in schools is a key factor for our nation’s schools in helping to prevent tragedies like Newtown, Parkland, Santa Fe, and so many others from happening at all – or at least reducing the number of tragedies and threats of violence from occurring on a daily basis.

 Click here to learn more about how technology can mitigate risk at school.

 Too many of our nation’s schools are still vulnerable to intruders due to easy access to the building.  

 School safety is much more complex than active shooter.  I get headlines multiple times a day with school volunteers or employees that have molested, seduced or sexually abused a student.

 Knowing who you are allowing in your buildings is the foundation of a security program.  

 Security Technology in Schools

 Every school in our nation should have security technology in schools, like a Visitor Management System (VMS) which can:

  • Having defined access controls based on the type of visitor.

  • Integrated background checks that can be defined by the type of visitor.  

  • Have the capability to manage excluded parties and flag them if they try to enter. 

  • Must be cloud-based, as well as work on cellular or separate WiFi networks (school networks are often blocked during an event).

  • Integrate with student information systems and check-in kiosk for scan-in/scan-out and authentication verification for government ID’s 

  • Offer continuous background checks and arrest-alerts in real-time for Volunteers and Employees so if they are arrested for a prohibitive crime you will be notified in real time..

  • Offer geofencing capabilities to set parameters that control access.

  • Expedite getting students to parents/guardians quickly and ensure their release to no one other than parents/guardians. 

  • Emergency/Denial notification buttons

  • Integrations with crisis management systems to create a 360 security solution.

How Do We Comply With Indiana HEA 1079?

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This July, Indiana issued a new law pertaining to schools and background checks known as the House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1079. Knowing and understanding the requirements of HEA 1079 will increase your appreciation for how Safe Hiring Solutions can help schools comply with the law. SHS has developed a  process that will allow Indiana school administrators and HR managers to save time and money while meeting HEA requirements.

What is HEA 1079?

As mentioned above, HEA 1079 mandates that every school in the state of IN have an updated Expanded Criminal History background check on file for every employee. This includes lunch workers, janitors, substitutes, teachers, and anyone else on the school’s payroll.

The bill pertains to public and private schools alike. In addition, every five years the Expanded Criminal History check must be updated for every employee. New hires must receive an Expanded Criminal History check prior to starting, and then they must be incorporated into the five-year cycle for updated checks.

How We Ensure Compliance

This law can be unnerving especially for larger schools with many employees. The pressure to update and expand checks on existing employees while running checks on prospective hires can especially be felt in large mega-corporations. Safe Hiring Solutions has created a simple solution that not only guarantees compliance with the bill, but will help to alleviate much of the work involved in managing re-checks. The solution is SafeVisitor - our visitor management software. SHS can utilize SafeVisitor to handle the HEA 1079 bill in three easy steps.

SafeVisitor will:

  1. load every employee into the system.

  2. perform an Expanded Criminal History check on each individual employee.

  3. set a date to automatically email and remind the employee in 60 months to perform a re-check.

The system can also manage payments for the background check thereby taking much of the record keeping off the shoulders of office administrators. Let SafeVisitor and Safe Hiring Solutions completely automate required background checks while also ensuring compliance with HEA 1079.

To learn more about how we can set you and your school up to handle HEA 1079, be sure to view our webinars: https://safehiringsolutions.com/resources/

Call us Toll Free: 866-434-0002 or email:  sales@safehiringsolutions.com

 

 

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