Published: 16th September 2017
Ryan murder case: This 20-point guide can help keep students safe on the school campus
Ashok Desikan, Managing Director, Strategic Solution Group, TOPSGRUP explains the need of a safer environment for the children. Here's is his plan of action
The Ryan International School incident has raised many questions on the security provided at School. Parents send their kids trusting the school authorities safeguard their children but are our schools really safe? The important point here is to identify the threat before it knocks on your door.
Below are certain measures which can be taken:
- Access control to enter school premises – which means only students & teachers will be allowed to enter the school during working hours. No one else, not even the school bus drivers or conductors will be allowed to enter.
- There should be clear bifurcated sections for teaching and administration with separate entrance and access control.
- Students should be encouraged to report any suspicious moves or person within the school premises to the school management.
- Young students, especially those from class I to V, should be counseled on a regular basis on the basis of good and bad touch and how to react in such situations.
- Separate restroom facilities should be made available for non-teaching staff which includes security guards, bus drivers, peons, cleaners, gardener, office bearers etc.
- All internal & external maintenance work should be carried out only after non-working hours and that too only after all students have left the school premises. Restrooms, library, labs and other areas should be locked during this time and a security guard has to accompany external maintenance staff at all times.
Enough is enough: Reference verification, security consultants and student counselling can play an important in building a safe environment for the kids
- Different departments within the school should have access control, which means peons and other non-teaching staff such as accountants etc cannot enter the main teaching area.
- There should be biometrics and RFID for teaching staff and non-teaching staff for entering and exit of premises
- All school buses should be fitted with a CCTV camera and the route needs to be time planned, which means the bus driver needs to report to the command center after dropping the last student in a particular time, any delays need to be explained.
- All school buses should mandatory have a male and female security personnel all the time
- Pre-joining psychiatrist test must be made mandatory for all school employees
- Schools should hire a reputed background verification company, who can verify the teaching as-well-as not teaching staff, like peons, maids, drivers, bus attendants etc. The parameters who what they can be included are as follows:
- Reference verification with past employers/managers to whom they specifically reported
- A person's criminal history to assess his or her trustworthiness.
- Court database, check with the candidate's name in District Court, High Court, High Court Benches and Supreme Court databases to help ensure that there are no court records against the Candidate
- Child abuse history check at the nearest police station
- Enquiry from neighbors and people in the vicinity to check their community behavior such as frequent fights & disputes, drug or alcohol abuse, petty crime etc.
- A security consultant should be taken on-board, who does the timely security audit and then the findings and solutions that are come up should be reviewed.
- Address Verification - this involves checking the permanent address given by the them to ensure that he can be tracked down in case he goes missing
- Conduct periodic criminal history checks of school employees during the course of their employment.
- The school management should give a standing order saying that only the parents or the person the parents have appointed should be the ones to pick up the students at school. School should issue and ID cards for them and it should be checked before handing the kids to them.
Parents meeting venue should be restricted to Administrative area with strict and timely access control
(The piece is articulated by Ashok Desikan, Managing Director, Strategic Solution Group, TOPSGRUP)