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Technological School Safety Initiatives: Considerations to Protect All Students

The Brennan Center & the Center for Democracy and Technology have released a new resource with cautions and recommendations for schools that plan to introduce tech-based safety initiatives.

Published: June 4, 2019

A series of recent school shootings have focused nationwide attention on the problems facing kids in schools. School administrators are scrambling for solutions to address not only gun violence but also bullying and threats of self-harm. Tech-based school safety initiatives are particularly attractive in the current climate due to recent rapid advancements in security technologies, widespread use of social media, and tight budget constraints. Unfortunately, many proposed initiatives pose their own threats to students: irresponsible implementation could endanger student privacy, harm free expression, and exacerbate discriminatory discipline of marginalized students.

Together with the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Brennan Center today is releasing recommendations for policymakers and educators to consider when weighing the costs and benefits of any new technologies to be released in schools. In addition to concrete actions for leaders to take, we urge all decision-makers to be diligent in evaluating the efficacy of these technologies alongside the potentially harmful effects.

The desire to do something, anything, to stem violence in schools is understandable and admirable. But without proper planning and implementation, these tech-based school safety initiatives could hurt kids more than they would help. 

See the recommendations here.