While we often think of the fiscal cost of school safety incidents in terms of workers compensation claims, litigation and higher insurance premium increases, there are many other ways that they impact the cost of operating schools. For example, while performing a school safety, security, climate, culture and emergency preparedness assessment for a large urban school system, I had occasion to interview a variety of central office personnel. I asked each person I interviewed if the security incidents in the district were having a budget impact on their operation. Staff repeatedly gave examples of a wide range of direct costs to their operation that quickly added up to millions of dollars each year. Even for a district of this size, the numbers provided were substantial. Since the district was facing massive budget shortfalls, several million dollars each year was really making a difference in the ability of the district to deliver quality educational services.
Taking the time to properly tabulate the true costs of school safety and security incidents can be most revealing and can be a worthwhile activity.