Page 82 - Security Today, July/August 2020
P. 82

By Ralph C. Jensen
COVID-19 is the Security Problem
If you’re planning on sending the kids back to school this fall, not so fast. That virus thing is still hanging on. Let’s also hope that security has not taken a back seat to, well ... anything. With a First Grader in my home, when I think of Campus Security, my mind flashes to K-12. Higher education has been in the midst of the virus struggle as well. I don’t envy education or health officials who are grappling with this pandemic, and when to allow students back to class.
For the sake of my First Grader, home schooling is not the preferred method. I don’t make a great teacher, tutor or recess playmate.
As of June 18, K-12 campuses have been alerted by Gov. Greg Abbott that schools will open for fall classes. The governor reiterated that it was his goal to have students back in schools by the fall. “It will be safe for Texas public school students, teachers, and staff to return to school cam- puses for in-person instruction this fall,” said Mike Morath, Texas Education Commissioner, in a statement released Thursday. “But there will also be flexibility for families with health concerns
so that their children can be educated remotely, if the parent so chooses.”
In California, education officials are considering “reconfigured classrooms,” staggered class
schedules and a continuation of online learning to permit social distancing.
In the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools District, Eric Gordon, CEO, thinks school can reopen in the fall. Districts could stagger school days or extend hours to reduce class sizes to keep stu- dents and teachers six feet apart. He also said districts would have to hire more teachers to avoid
reducing instruction time.
But districts would have to hire more teachers to avoid reducing instruction time. “We
couldn’t suddenly triple the size of the workforce, and even if we did we did couldn’t triple the size of the building,” he said.
Nebraska’s Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt has a team of 24 superintendents, devel- oping a “safety net” for the fall. Plans are, normal instruction, continued online learning and just about everything in between. This likely would include further disruptions after students return to school if there are coronavirus outbreaks in individual communities.
“I hope we don’t have a lot of disruptions, but signs are that it’s a possibility.”
Higher education has similar aspirations. Colleges opening in the fall include Baylor Univer- sity, Boston College, New York University, Texas A&M, University of Arizona and several others. Other schools are planning shortened semesters, such as Michigan State University, Notre Dame, University of Texas and others.
No matter the course taken for opening campuses, safety and security are paramount. Trust, that I will be watching the First Grade now, more than ever before.
6 | JULY/AUGUST 2020
Editor's Commentary
Editor-in-Chief E-news Editor
Art Director
Production Coordinator
Ralph C. Jensen Brent Dirks
Laurie Layman
Teresa Antonio
Jeff Karpovich, CPP, CHPA, CSSP, Chief/Director, Security & Transportation, High Point University, High Point, NC
Alison Kiss, Executive Director at Clery Center, Strafford, PA
Mark Kissel, K-12 Chief of Police (Retired); Principle Kissel Consulting LLC, Bethlehem, GA
Greg Klaiber, Director of Emergency Management, Northwestern University, Evanston IL
Joseph Souza, Director of Security and Technology at
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Chief Tom Weitzel, Riverside Police Department, Riverside IL Jennifer Ziffle, Director of Campus Safety,
Technical College System of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
Sam Baird +44 1883 715 697 Brian Rendine 972-687-6761
President & Group Publisher Editor-in-Chief/
Associate Publisher, Security Group Circulation Director Group Marketing Director Group Website Manager Group Webinar Administrator
Chief Executive Officer Chief Financial Officer Chief Technology Officer
Executive Vice President
Staff may be reached via email, telephone, fax or mail. A list of editors and contact information also is available online at
E-mail: To e-mail any member of the staff, please use the following form:
Dallas Office (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CT) Telephone (972) 687-6700; Fax (972) 687-6799 14901 Quorum Dr., Suite 425, Dallas, TX 75254
Corporate Office (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. PT) Telephone (818) 814-5200; Fax (818) 734-1522
6300 Canoga Avenue, Suite 1150, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Kevin O’Grady
Ralph C. Jensen Irene Fincher Susan May Scott Newhouse Tammy Renne
Rajeev Kapur Sanjay Tanwani Erik A. Lindgren
Michael J. Valenti
Halfpoint /

   80   81   82   83   84