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The Role of Technology in Improving K-12 School Safety

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2016
148 pages
This report presents the results of two literature reviews on school safety and school safety technologies and related expert panels, with a focus on K-12 public schools.
The project's goal was to identify the highest priority technology needs for improving school safety; however, due to a lack of evidence on school safety technologies in the literature, this project relied on expert panelists in day-long workshops. They ranked the technologies they deemed most important in providing safe schools. Panelists gave a high ranking to two types of technological need: 1) technology for improved data collection and analysis on security problems encountered by specific schools and 2) easier and faster access to information on school safety by school staff members. Other themes that emerged from rankings of technological needs were technology for direct two-way communication between teachers and emergency responders; technology that will enable school personnel and students' parents to access all school safety plans at one source; technology that will improve the use of tip lines for anonymous submissions; and technology that will inform school personnel about the ever-changing set of social media sites and slang terms, so as to facilitate scanning content for "cyberbullying" across all those sites. A lower ranked technology frequently mentioned was technology for visitor management systems that will enable location-tracking of ID-carrying students and adults within the school building. In addressing these technological needs, recommendations are presented for stakeholders, researchers, technology developers, and school personnel. 18 tables, 3 figures, 110 references, and appended overview of violence in U.S. K-12 schools, study methodology, listing of panel participants, and listing and tiering of combined technology and related needs

Date Published: January 1, 2016