When it comes to the safety and protection of our children at school, we are willing to go to great lengths.
Many parents would argue that you can never be too cautious.
In the U.S. there have been 1,316 school shootings since 1970. What’s even more alarming is that 18 percent of the shooting took place after the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
School safety is not only a priority, it is the responsibility of the faculty, the parents, and the entire community. There are many ways to increase the safety and protection of your child in their school environment.
Keep reading for seven tips to ensure your child’s safety at school.
1. Train Staff and Faculty on Emergency Protocol
As far as school safety tips go, this one can be a literal lifesaver. It is crucial that students and staff are trained and prepared for an emergency situation.
You must have a protocol in place for emergencies such as threatening shooters, severe weather, fires, and most recently, COVID-19. Not only should these safety measures be understood at the school, but they should also be communicated to the parents and guardians of the students.
Schools can conduct regular fire drills, hostile situation training, and escape route tours. You can also have the local police or fire department speak with students about the importance of safety and what to do in the event of such an emergency.
2. Install Security Equipment
This is one of the best ways to protect students and teachers. Installing security equipment can act as a deterrent in some situations for a trespasser in your school.
Ensure that you have cameras in all major areas of the school and conduct a maintenance check regularly. You want to make sure that the equipment is running smoothly and adheres to certain safety protocols.
If there is a security system in place, you will want to regularly check that you:
- Replace batteries in the security alarms
- Test the reliability of intercoms
- Review video footage
- Clean camera lenses for clear images
- Replace batteries in smoke and fire alarms
- Check that all cameras and alarms are working
These are just some of the ways in which you can amp up security in your school. Most importantly, these checks need to be done regularly to prevent any threats and oversights.
For the best in security for your school, Rhinoware Barricade helps slow active shooters and quickens the response time of local police.
3. Regularly Audit the School’s Property and Infrastructure
Knowing the ins and outs of your school property is the best way to gauge what are the potential threats. Understanding where your school is vulnerable is a good way to know how to prepare.
You can start by inspecting potential health risks and environmental hazards. Checking to see if the infrastructure of the school can withstand a weather disaster.
Make sure that your school’s technology is up to date and all systems are running properly.
Review the layout of the building and check for potential threats of the structure, access into the building, and safety exits.
4. Talk to Your Kids About Safety
This might be a difficult conversation, talking to your kids is imperative if you want them to stay safe in emergency situations.
Don’t be afraid to get as detailed as possible. Get your child to understand the feeling of instinct and intuition if they feel that something isn’t right. Let them know what they must do when they are feeling this – get a teacher, call an emergency number. It is also essential that your child knows emergency numbers.
Communicate with your child about other safety concerns. If they have any mental health issues, disabilities, or allergies. You want them to understand issues of threat and bullying are also unsafe and they should tell someone about it.
You may also want to inform the school’s principal if these issues are reoccurring with your child.
5. Create a School Safety Committee
Creating a school safety committee is a great way to ensure that everyone understands the school’s safety protocols. It is also an effective way to get the community involved. This can include faculty as well as parents active in the school community.
There can be representatives from the students, faculty, and parents. All of whom will have their own safety concerns and can bring new ideas about safety to your school.
Together, the committee can create a comprehensive and include safety plan and keep the rest of the community informed.
6. Provide First Aid and Mental Health Services
When we talk about school security, we often think of outside threats. However, there are also safety concerns that can affect your child right inside the school environment.
Firstly, schools should be equipped with on-site emergency care. Students can be prone to injury and there should be medical attention available in the form of medicine, ointment, and proper first aid.
Secondly, mental health services should also be available at your child’s school. From stress to bullying and depression, having available counseling is crucial in protecting the mental health of your child.
The effects of bullying can have profound effects on the students in your school. In 1990, 12 out of 15 school shooters were bullied before committing their heinous crimes.
7. Awareness of Road Safety
In addition to safety during an emergency and threatening situations, children should also be alert for dangers in everyday life.
Children should be aware of the safest route they have to school and stick to it every day. They should know to watch the road and check both directions before they cross. It is also helpful to ensure there is a crossing guard placed in all major school routes in the neighborhood before and after school.
A Final Thought on School Safety
The safety of your child’s school is non-negotiable. There are many ways to ensure that your community is involved in planning and preparing for emergencies that put your child’s school safety at risk. Consider putting together a safety committee, provide a variety of health services, create an emergency plan, install security equipment, and talk to your kids about safety.
Our seven tips for school safety will have you feeling prepared and give you peace of mind when sending your little one to school.
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