Safety first: School security on the rise


Allie Utley

Iola High School put in a new security system in the 2012-13 school year, according to directors of operations, Scott Stanley.

Allie Utley, Staff Writer

Ever since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December of 2012, school safety has become a top priority for school officials. In the latest news, there has been a long fought debate over whether schools should hire security guards to stand in designated parts of the school. Here are the top five benefits of having one:

  1. Guidance for parents: As high schools make changes at a rapid pace, many parents have fallen into the frustration and annoyance of not knowing where to go or what doors to walk through in order to find an administrator.
  2. On the watch: As we now know, the Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, had been locked out of the building due to a new security system that had been placed by the school principal earlier that year. Lanza had to, “literally shoot an entrance into the building,” says Connecticut’s governor, Dannel Malloy. If Sandy Hook would have had security guards placed during the attack, chances are that the shooter would’ve been stopped before even entering the building.  This could also help end physical fighting that goes on throughout the day. According to a statistic from, in 2013, they found that nearly 1 out of 6 shootings occurred after a confrontation or verbal argument. With a potential security guard stepping in during these types of disagreements, the problem could be resolved in a moments notice.
  3. Increase of vigilance: Armed security guards can help observe the behaviors of school children keenly. It is known that most school children that plan deadly attacks have fallen into depression months before the attack. This gives the security guards a chance to see children as they are, first hand.
  4. Immediate help: In most cases, school shootings and their casualties depend solely on time. The quicker the problem is addressed, the faster first responders arriving can make a difference between life and death. For example, during a passing period, if a student noticed a weapon in the bag of another student, they can inform a guard and the situation can be handled.
  5. Security boost: With added security around the building, it would be much easier to catch non-health related substances, such as illegal drugs, being passed around during the school hours.


Of course, with every good thing, there is always a negative impact it could potentially have. 

  1. Fear: With police officers constantly scanning his/her area every minute of the day, it is easy to begin to feel “watched.” Although 59% of the 84 surveyed IHS students agreed with implementing a guard, another 51% said that they wouldn’t like a security guard, mainly saying that they wouldn’t feel comfortable enough.

“I feel safe enough already, having them would just make me feel jumpy,” an anonymous IHS student says.

  1. Cost: The actual pay of just one other person, plus the expense of his/her equipment would take a large portion of the already tight budget of any school. The equipment could range anywhere from guns to extra security cameras.
  2. Not enough dangers: Living in rural communities, school shootings often tend to be slim. Some people think that school security guards are only needed in larger schools.

“Our school doesn’t have any extreme problems,” one IHS student says. “Our school isn’t that dangerous,” said another.

Of the 84 surveyed IHS students, 51% of students say that they would prefer to have a security guard, and of that 51%, 59% say that they wished for he/she to be armed.

“The reason why I said no is because this school does not have that many problems or involved people in it. I think that having a security guard would be distracting and maybe even stressful on some people,” an anonymous responder says.