(from EdSurge) The education sector spent an estimated $2.7 billion on security equipment and services in 2017, despite questions over its effectiveness at deterring school violence. New high-tech tools do make staff feel safer, however. Violent deaths in schools have stayed relatively constant over the last 30 years, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, but every time another event like Sandy Hook or Parkland occurs, many educators and students feel they are in peril when they go to school. Facial recognition software is among the latest technology schools are adopting. This summer, RealNetworks said it would offer its SAFR (Secure, Accurate Facial Recognition) software free to all K-12 schools. A Catholic school in Seattle was one of the first to accept the offer, and had to upgrade the school’s infrastructure to support SAFR. The school spent $24,000 to install new security cameras, purchase a few Apple devices and upgrade the school’s Wi-Fi. Staff members like the technology but experts warn it may create a false sense of security.
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