Due to sporadic violence in schools, there is a great concern to make sure that each child has the protection needed while at school. The safety factor is extends from pre-school to graduate school. There are several features of school safety that need to be considered to insure that this is done:
a. background checks of all hired personnel
b. cameras and intercom system working in the school
c. a safety plan for evacuation devised and practiced
d. a counseling staff which can alert staff of students who pose danger to
themselves or others
e. a non-tolerance approach to bullying or coercion by attending students
f. structural/building repairs (roofs, walls, doors) which pose hazards and
can cause injury or death
g. enough guards or security on duty to handle any crisis
h. classroom chats to discuss “if’s” in cases of emergencies
i. plan for handling communicating with parents/guardians in cases of emergencies
j. community resource network in cases of emergencies
All school personnel should have background checks on file. A thorough investigation of those employed to work around children/students is necessary.
This should be done before any hiring takes place. If, after hiring an school employee, other information is received showing that employee to have lied or
cheated, the employee should be dismissed immediately until an investigation is done.
All buildings should have working intercom systems and cameras in place. These devices will prove most helpful should there be unanswered questions following any episodes which involve the violation the safety codes of the school.
Every district should have in place a plan for student evacuation from the building in cases of bomb threats, fires, or lock downs. These should be practiced regularly so that students are aware of their responsibility should there be a need.
A team of counselors who can spot students who could potentially cause harm to themselves of others is necessary. Data and files should be kept up and meetings
arranged to discuss whether these students should be in that school, or transferred to another which is able to handle more difficult students.
Most states have a non-tolerance policy on bullying and gang activity. The guidelines and enforcement of these policies should be done in all cases where necessary, and no exceptions should be made or partiality shown. Students must be able to feel safe and know that the school will not tolerate bullying or gang behaviors which will cause students to remain out of school for fear of being hurt, killed, or coerced against their wills.
Buildings should be kept in good conditions. Falling ceilings, sagging walls,
wobbly doors and other school fixtures can result in accidents or even death. A full assessment should be done each semester to determine what needs repair, and these repairs should be done immediately.
Enough security guards should be employed at a ratio to ensure that the entire building would be covered during school hours. The positioning of these staff members should be so that the entire school is being watched efficiently. Communication lines should be in place so that security guards can work in unison
in cases of riots, large fights, and disruptions.
Classroom chats with teachers and students need to take place, as well as at a school assembly to discuss how to react in cases of emergencies. Student input
is another feature of these chats, and good suggestions should be taken into consideration.
A way to communicate to parents that would not cause panic should be devised.
Parents often overreact when emergencies occur. This is not good, however, they
need to know when their children/child is affected. Do not speak rudely to them, but try to use a calm tone with them and appraise them in an appropriate way.
Let the fire department and police station be a part of the community resources in cases of emergencies. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, and those who can help to save lives should also be a part of the community resource group. All schools will need to be as prepared as possible for any emergency or isolated situation that can occur in regards to student safety.