School Safety: How to Identify and Approve School Visitors

School safety has always been a top priority for institutions across the country.  Throughout the school year, visitors pop in and out of these buildings.  Students and staff are always told to report any visitors or interactions that seem out of the norm or uncomfortable, but sometimes it is difficult to decipher the approved visitors from those that have not been properly checked- in and verified.

There are a variety of ways to showcase that a visitor has been approved.  Upon check-in at the administrative office, approved visitors should receive an identifying article that blatantly displays their status as an authorized guest.  Sticky name tags can certainly fall off and can unfortunately be easily replicated.  We recommend giving visitors a lanyard with a pass that must be turned in when checking out of the school. The lanyard should be worn at all times when present in the building.  Passes and colors should be updated frequently to avoid replication. 

Another option is to give visitors a brightly colored custom wristband.  A neon wristband with a large logo or mascot is a great way to identify your visitors.  Wristbands must be worn by guests at all times while in the building and cut off with scissors by an administrator at check-out.   The wristband should not be covered up by sleeves or jackets.  It is also a good idea to frequently change the colors to again, avoid replication.

It is important for teachers and administrators to keep students informed about the proper articles that will identify the approved visitors.  Any updates to these articles should be communicated to students and repeated with reminders on a regular basis.  It’s easy for students to find their comfort zone in your school and that’s what you strive for, but it is also the job of the community to educate children about strangers and unwelcome visitors. 

We wish you a Happy 2020-2021 School Year! 

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We also reccomend reading School Safety Tips for Administrators by the National Crime Prevention Council.