We are learning a lot these days about schools in turnaround cleaning house of principals and teachers and janitors and even lunch ladies, but what about security guards? It is safe (ha!) to say that the people patrolling the hallways have more of an impact on school culture than those doling out the pizza. Bringing order to a chaotic building is nearly always the first piece of the turnaround puzzle.
Yet in many cases, the security force is not under the control of school administrators or even the district—often guards are contracted through the police department, or through other arrangements. So while administrators can “work with” security guards to let them know that hey, when a belligerent student faces another down in the hall during class time, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO SOMETHING, they can be pretty limited beyond that. I am not saying security guards are always part of the problem, but it is no guarantee they are part of the solution.
I would love to see some stories about this: whether and how administrators improve security and overall culture with the help of, or in spite of, security guards not under their charge.