Late last month, parents who lost children in the Parkland, Florida shooting joined lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for two school safety bills – one requiring every school to have silent panic alarms to alert first responders during a shooting and the other to provide more funding for school resource officers. Max Schacter, whose son was among the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School five years ago, said during the visit to Washington, D.C., ‘The failures of that day, it makes you angry. I became more focused and clear about what needs to happen to prevent the next Parkland.”
I can only imagine the pain that Schacter and others who lost a loved one that day must feel especially as our thoughts turn to back-to-school. I applaud the fortitude of the Parkland parents and countless others who are now part of a club no one has ever wanted to join. Their passion and perspective is invaluable as we work to usher in safety changes in our schools. We know we can’t always prevent an active assailant from perpetrating violence in our schools but we can apply important lessons from past tragedies as well as insights from those closest to the issue to best protect students, teachers, staff and responders.
With that in mind, Motorola Solutions surveyed 1,000 K-12 parents and 1,000 K-12 teachers across the U.S. in late June on the topic of school safety. Questions were posed about challenges, emergency preparedness strategies, communication protocols, technology solutions and training modules. Unsurprisingly, the 2023 K-12 School Safety research shows that 67% of both parents and educators are much more concerned about school safety now than they were five years ago with bullying/cyberbullying, active shooters and mental health among their top worries. That said, parents and teachers have confidence in their school’s emergency preparedness planning and real time communications.
As the new school year gets underway, it is important for parents and teachers to make observations and ask questions about proactive planning, notification processes, safety innovations and drills. The timely new research from Motorola Solutions can help guide critical conversations about school safety on campus and at home. Access the press release in our newsroom for more survey highlights or download the full report today.