School security vendors say educators are not tapping into their training for products and tech they sell to schools, but principals say they are not getting enough training. Where is the disconnect?

Posted by on December 5, 2023

School principals tell us they are not receiving adequate training for using the security products and technology purchased by their districts.

One principal told us he spent nearly three hours trying to track down the movement of one specific identified student using new cameras installed in his district. Building principals have noted from time to time that when they do get training, it is very quickly done and not enough time is allocated so they understand the systems.

It is now even common to find principals and their leadership teams not tapping into their existing capabilities for pulling up views from new cameras on smart phones or tablets because they had not been provided such access or trained how to do it.

Just recently, questions also arose within a school community when a school staff member failed to locate a gun in a student’s backpack during secondary screening after a metal detector went off alerting staff to a weapon when a student walked through the system, begging questions as to whether school staff have been trained how to do so.

Vendors say school officials fail to take advantage of training

In multiple conversations this year with security vendors who sell their products and tech to schools, vendors told me they either get little time to provide training on their products or school people simply do not show up for the training when it is provided.

“Training is provided as part of our contract with schools, but people don’t show up,” one vendor said.

This begs the question of why school boards and superintendents would spend six and seven figure expenditures of tax dollars for security products, hardware, and/or technology yet pass on, or limit the amount of time for, training of their staff on how to use what they purchased.

Negligent training will be frowned upon by judges, juries, and the court of public opinion

One district spokesperson boasted to the media that one reason their district bought a particular brand of AI weapons-detection system is because it required very little training. This is certainly not something we would hope they have to explain down the road in a deposition for a lawsuit raising negligent training claims.

School leaders will likely find it difficult to blame security vendors if they – the district leaders – choose not to fully utilize the training built into the contracts or otherwise available to them.

They will also have a hard time explaining to students, staff, and parents why they do not know how to use the things they purchased to make schools safer in the first place.

Dr. Kenneth S. Trump is President of National School Safety and Security Services  

National School Safety and Security Services

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One thought on “School security vendors say educators are not tapping into their training for products and tech they sell to schools, but principals say they are not getting enough training. Where is the disconnect?

  1. Stacy says:

    This is very good news and information to share with my colleagues. Thank you for sharing this information.

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