How RTLS/RFID and GPS Maximizes Security in Schools

Smiling male teacher welcoming his students in a school hallway and talking to them.

News headlines are becoming increasingly saturated with accounts of school boards that are allowing approved staff members with concealed carry permits to carry guns. Recent examples in California and Texas are just two of many examples.

In a world where dangerous crime in school is a legitimate concern, arming teachers is becoming a realistic strategy for some. At the same time, what else can be done to ensure schools are more secure, visitors can be trusted, and students and teachers can efficiently stop or quickly combat an emergency situation?

Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) is one way campus administrators can keep a steady hand on the pulse of daily activities at schools.

One of the more glaring concerns in elementary, middle, and secondary schools nationwide is how to handle visitors that come through the door. Whether they are parents, volunteers, or other friends and family that need to check in on a student, teacher, or other faculty/staff member, there are certain levels of security that must be in place to ensure all outsiders are approved.

The benefit of a dependable RTLS/RFID system is that visitors can be located in real-time throughout the facility. While the goal is not to make them feel like each of their steps is being ‘tracked’ in the building, it inevitably provides a tool to ensure all outsiders are indeed going where they say they’re going.

Schools are wisely developing barriers to deter dangerous visitors from easily entering school grounds (LINK: http://www.campussafetymagazine.com/article/16-Steps-to-Better-School-Front-Entrance-Security). But what if someone gets into the building unannounced or unapproved? RTLS/RFID systems allow staff members to wear a location-based badge with a button press that provides a silent alert to the computers or mobile devices of all pertinent individuals, inside our outside of the facility, if dangerous or emergency situations emerge. The individual receiving the alert knows who is asking for help along with their location.

The benefits of these type of systems make a difference in less severe, but still critical, instances as well. Location-based alerts are practical when, for example, teachers are dealing with a student that may be in immediate need due to injury or illness.

How do we maximize security in schools? The answer to this question will undoubtedly continue to evolve. However, there is little argument to make against the security benefits of RTLS/RFID based tagging and locating systems in today’s educational system.

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