By September, the school year is in full swing. Us working parents experience the frenzy of getting our kids out the door, only to rush back to pick them up, get dinner on the table and tuck everyone in for the night.
We all expect and appreciate the education and socialization our kids gain from school, but the safety of our children supersedes all other expectations of our children’s educational institutions.
Central Ohio-based School Solutions Network provides innovative technology, accompanied with ongoing education and programming, to empower and teach students, staff and communities how to proactively reduce risk and appropriately address an issue when it arises.
We know resources are tight, threats are vast and needs are ever-changing in today’s world. Schools should not be alone in pursuing safety for students. Teachers are responsible for students’ well-being and education, but safety is a community responsibility. Educators, parents, law enforcement, local businesses, and all community members share this role.
School Solutions Network shared the following school safety tips that CBUS Dads thought were beyond worthy to share:
Open the the lines of communication with your child. Ask your child how they feel about safety in their school. Do they feel safe? Are there any areas they feel unsafe around and why? Do they know what to do in case of an emergency?
Identify the school officials/personnel your child can comfortably go to to report any concerns they may have (school counselors, hotlines, email accounts, suggestion box, etc.). Familiarize yourself with your school’s safety protocol and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Ask your school what policies and protocols are in place to ensure safe and secure surroundings at school. How do guests enter the building? Is the perimeter locked? How do parents arrange for their child(ren) to be picked up by someone other than a parent?
Find out what parents should do in case of an emergency at school. Where can you go to get accurate and up-to-date information from the school in an emergency situation? Will the school contact you? Who can you contact at the school? Where can you meet your children if you need to pick them up from school?
Enable tracking on your child’s mobile device to know your child’s precise whereabouts in case of an emergency (iPhone “Find My Friends,” location sharing, etc.)
Get involved in a school safety committee. If there isn’t one, or it’s not satisfactory, create change. Join your schools PTA/PTO or start a school safety committee yourself. Get involved to make school safety information accessible and look for ways to improve communication and protocols.
When connected, schools and communities are able to elevate one another by raising awareness, fostering safety and cultivating pride in our school districts. The “it won’t happen to us” mentality won’t help a school in the midst of an issue or crisis. As threats, strategies and technologies are constantly changing, schools must prepare themselves with the most up-to-date information and resources to ensure the well-being of their children, faculty and facilities.
Let’s strive to all take an active role in ensuring schools across central Ohio are as safe as they can be this school year and beyond. And, if you’d like to learn more about how you or your school can get involved in the School Solutions Network, click here.
-By Steven Michalovich, Regular Contributor