From Clery Act to gun laws: 2010 brought big changes for educational security

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Monday, December 20, 2010

YARMOUTH, Maine—The education security sector saw some significant changes in 2010. Particularly, new regulations to the Jeanne Clery Act piqued a lot of interest with changes that required schools to change the way they report hate crimes, develop official emergency plans and report missing students. This year we even saw the State of New Jersey pass legislation requiring schools to conduct monthly security drills, in addition to already mandated fire drills.

Also, a list of the nation’s top 50 most dangerous schools caused a major uproar in the security community, with some accusing the publication of “using stats like it's fantasy baseball."

In other big news, a North Carolina court found that police officers employed by institutions of higher learning that have a religious affiliation wouldn't have law enforcement authority. In other gun-related news, a Kansas law could force schools to allow guns on campus and several schools are migrating from an unarmed security force to fully sworn police officers.

And technology continues to be a struggle in the education space. Some schools reported battling poorly functioning cameras, while others just discussed the difficulty of adding to their existing systems. The University of Southern California, for example, began relying on video patrols to stave off gang activity on its campus.

And several schools reported success using their emergency notification systems in actual incidents, when an armed bank robber came on the campus of the University of Maine and a major gas leak erupted in a residential dorm at the University of Alberta. Here are the Here are the Top 5 Educational Security stories from 2010:

1. Changes to Clery Act impact emergency plans, require drills

2. Nation's top 50 most dangerous schools

3. School security directors blast most dangerous list

4. College uses key fobs for mass notification, not cell phones

5. Adding even a few cameras requires an 'education beyond belief'