The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of School Planning & Management magazine.

Parents So Concerned About School Safety They are Willing to Pay for it Themselves

As parents across the country head out to purchase No. 2 pencils, composition notebooks and a flurry of other back-to-school supplies, there’s one more item parents are prepared to pay for out of their own pockets: improved school security. 

According to a new survey, 81 percent of students and 89 percent of parents expressed anxiety over school shootings with the start of the school year, and a majority of parents (75 percent) are willing to pay out of their own pockets to do something about it.

And while teens and parents are known to universally butt heads when it comes to agreeing on things, when asked about prioritizing funding, both parent and student survey respondents ranked improved school security as the top priority for additional funding over academics, arts and athletics.

The online survey was commissioned by Raptor Technologies, the leader in integrated school safety technologies, and Safe and Sound Schools, a nonprofit founded by Sandy Hook parents focused on improving school safety. The survey interviewed 501 U.S. parents with K-12 kids, and 501 students ages 13-18.

“As a community concerned with school safety, we need to better address both prevention of school violence as well as preparation for such incidents,” said Eileen Shihadeh, senior vice president, Raptor Technologies. “Businesses, organizations, and schools need to come together to improve preventative measures such as identification and assessment of threatening or tell-tale behaviors, and emergency planning such as practicing regular lockdown drills and making sure schools have effective incident management tools in place.”

Michele Gay, a Sandy Hook parent who lost her daughter in the 2012 shooting and co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools added, “The fact that you’re seeing parents willing to spend their own money on school security measures speaks volumes. It’s a sign of the times that we now live in a world where parents and students feel security upgrades are outranking the need for academic or athletic priorities. This all underscores the need across the board for better solutions to help ensure a safe school year.”

Additional Survey Highlights

  • The majority of parents (54 percent) felt school safety and security deserved the most additional school funding.

o    Thirty-two percent felt it should go towards academics, 6 percent towards sports and 6 percent towards art.

  • In regard to school safety risks, active shooter topped students’ “very worried” list (32 percent).

o    Nineteen percent are “very worried” about sexual assault, bullying (18 percent), physical assault (15 percent), and weather-related emergencies (7 percent).

  • On the other hand, parents are “very worried” about bullying (49 percent), followed by an active shooter (44 percent), physical assault (30 percent), sexual assault (29 percent) and weather-related emergencies (23 percent).
  • Seventy-nine percent of parents said they plan to talk to their children about school safety.
  • Seventy-one percent of students said they will pay more attention to signs of depression or violence in a classmate.

For more information on the survey, visit raptortech.com/study/

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