Our nation’s schools are faced with ongoing and growing threats: Violence, Drugs, Bullying, Crime, Natural Disasters and even Terrorism. Is your child’s school prepared for such events? As a parent you have the right to question any area that you may feel is lacking when it comes to your child’s safety.
In addition to basic safety procedures you should verify with your child’s school that they have a plan to address and prevent violence. The first step of your inspection should be to ask campus officials whether they have a strong hold on areas of the facility where violence usually occurs such as:
- parking lots and adjacent sites off of campus grounds
- points of entry to the facility
- stairs and stairwells
- restrooms, and cafeterias
What measures does the school take to ensure non-violent activity? Is the facility equipped with cameras to monitor potentially unsafe areas that are not monitored by school faculty? Does the facility have access control systems that can securely lock down the school in the event of a shooting or other disaster? The next step is to find out what type of communication system the facility uses. In the event of a disaster how will the school ensure your child’s safety and
keep you aware of the events that are occurring? How well does your child’s school investigate potentially dangerous activity? Even with a safety plan and proper training, school’s may not always have the information needed to properly address a violent incident before it occurs. Students, parents, or community members may have knowledge of potential or alleged threats and should be encouraged to share information with school authorities or law enforcement as soon as they hear of threats. Your child’s safety is top priority; do not be afraid to question your school’s safety plan and be informed!