ONE school shooting is too many! What are schools across the country doing to improve school safety? How are children handling school preparedness? Do students feel safe in school?
In response to recent school shootings, school security measures may actually be doing more to scare kids than protect them. It’s worth examining the notion that in our attempt to prepare and secure our schools, we might be overlooking some basic steps schools can take to improve safety that don’t terrify kids.
Security suggestions should include:
- Police and other first responders take regular tours of school grounds so that they become familiar with building layouts.
- Use apps available to alert teachers and school leadership about potential threats.
- While protecting students’ rights, set up a collaborative environment where parents, staff and kids are free to report any troubling behavior or potential incidents.
- Fund more qualified counselors and social workers to help with student mental health issues.
- Train staff in threat assessment management.
- Invite experts to evaluate the safety of school buildings themselves. Take into consideration entrances and exits, fenced areas, secured doors, fire code rules, cameras, how visitors gain access (ID, sign in, etc.) and mandatory school safety training for all staff.
- Emergency procedures must be clear and simple, rehearsed and practiced.
Rather than live in fear and create anxiety for kids, be prepared, be ready!