Top 10 Campus Safety Stories from November 2021
Some bizarre safety and security events went down at K-12 schools, colleges and hospitals in the month of November.
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When scouring Google Analytics and assembling these top story articles every month, there is usually some sort of “theme” or widespread topic that helps bring a lot of the stories together. I’m not even going to attempt that this time around because the top content was all over the map for the month of November.
Some of the stories are extremely bizarre which explains why they were in the top 10 most-read stories on Campus Safety. Between the senseless murder of a teacher by two young students, college students being held hostage in a dorm by a random man, a string of similar bomb threats, and a missing teen last seen on a college campus, sometimes sad and scary things happen and there is no universal tie that helps make it make sense.
I guess the one thing these scattered events prove is that keeping campuses safe is a neverending task. K-12 schools, colleges and hospitals are faced with new threats and concerns each and every day, and it is necessary to be prepared for the unexpected.
As I write this out, I am surprised the topic of mental health didn’t overtly make it into this month’s most popular stories. However, the concerning behavior exhibited by many of those involved in these news articles makes it very much worth mentioning. Last month, three top pediatric associations declared a national state of emergency in child and adolescent mental health. The topic of mental health and growing concerns surrounding it have forced many schools to reallocate some funds once used to keep schools secure to now targeting student well-being as a means of preventing violence. Since most schools opened for in-person learning this year, student violence — often involving guns — has increased tremendously.
Violence has also plagued the healthcare sector, particularly since the onset of the pandemic. A new survey from the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS), which made this month’s top stories, found the assault rate at U.S. hospitals increased more than 23% from 2019 to 2020.
As for colleges, well before the pandemic, many had been struggling to provide the resources needed to address student mental health. In 2019, AP news requested five years’ worth of data from counseling clinics or health centers at each state’s largest public university. The results show most are working to increase services but many are outpaced by the demand. Since 2014, the number of students receiving mental health treatment has grown by 35% while total enrollment has grown by just 5%.
Although not all of the bizarre stories from this month can be 100% attributed to mental health or proven to be influenced by it, paying closer attention to the mental health of students, faculty, employees and patients is never a bad idea.
If you can, join us for our free December 2 webinar which will focus on addressing the significant rise in mental health needs and violence among students. Attendees will learn about the observable behaviors people often exhibit as they head down a path of violence.