October is National Bullying Prevention Month
School bullying is a significant problem throughout the country and occurs across all school-age groups. Providing a safe learning environment, free from the stresses and dangers of bullying, is a must to facilitate academic success and help children grow. School security cameras can not only help stop bullying as it’s happening, but they can also serve as preventative measures to stop bullying before it happens. Take time during National Bullying Prevention Month to learn more about how security cameras can be a powerful ally in preventing school bullying.
Bullying is a growing problem
While any child can be the victim of bullying or become the bully, parents and educators should be aware of the warning signs of bullying. These signs include unexplained injuries, destroyed clothing or other items, faking illnesses to avoid going to school, declining grades, and decreased self-esteem.
Being the victim of bullying or being the perpetrator can lead to other even more harmful behaviors. With 19 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 and 21 percent of students aged 12-18 reporting that they have experienced bullying in the last 12 months, schools, parents, and the community have begun to rethink traditional approaches to preventing bullying and other school violence.
Safety is essential to learning
School administrators and teachers must respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior to convey to students that this behavior is unacceptable. Research has shown that immediate response to and decisive correction can stop bullying behavior over time. Unfortunately, school safety personnel, administrators, and teachers cannot be present in every school area at all times.
Bullies don’t attack victims when they know others, especially adults, might intervene. School bullying happens most often at lunch, recess, and between classes. During these times when students are moving or sitting in large groups, it can be difficult for adults to effectively monitor every child’s interactions. It is at these times when students are most vulnerable to bullying.
A safety tool for schools
At least 1 in 4 students in the U.S. have been bullied while at school, with the vast majority of bullying occurring when a child is in middle school. When children are bullied, they often develop negative physical, school, social, and mental health issues. Victims of bullying are more likely to exhibit signs of depression and anxiety, experience health complaints, and suffer from decreased academic achievement, including being more likely to drop out of school altogether.
Cameras can be a valuable aid to bullying prevention when actively monitored by school resources officers or safety personnel. Monitoring of camera feeds during class changes, lunch periods, and at recess enables the resource officer to detect incidents of bullying that occur out of sight of teachers and other activities that pose a risk to student safety like weapons or drug possession. The resource officer can then immediately intervene in the situation and provide the video to school administrators and teachers, allowing them to take swift action to remove the child being bullied from harm and respond to the other child’s bullying behavior.
Involve parents and the community
While school security cameras can be a valuable tool in your bullying prevention toolbox, it’s essential to have everyone on your side. When you involve parents and the rest of the community in your decision to enact safety measures to prevent bullying, you’ll assuage any reluctance parents may have about having their children monitored by security cameras.
One way to demonstrate the effectiveness of security cameras is to get testimonials from school administrators in other districts that use security cameras. Furthermore, testimonials from students who advocate using surveillance cameras for safety monitoring can be a powerful way to get everyone on board with the new security measures.
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