Discussing School Safety with Our Children Today

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Senseless tragedies among students of all ages are making the headlines these days; Oregon being the latest campus to be hit by a massive shooting spree. While our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this last tragedy, it’s time to have a serious conversation with our children, no matter if they’re in grade school, high school or college; apparently no one is totally safe from violent acts. Beginning with necessary precautions, there should be a safety plan implemented at all schools today.

Through much research this past weekend, I discovered a few different websites which can help, teach… and give you pertinent information on staying safe in school. At www.nea.org “National Education Association” offers great resources for preparation in the event of violence, in order to; react to, and respond to… in a crisis. It is important in today’s world to have discussions with our family members at home, as no one is completely safe; another site which offers information, along with safety tips is the National Crime Prevention Council; www.ncpc.org/topics/school-safety . There’s no such thing as too much information, so please research a few and use what may work for your children, and … or schools, depending on age and location. There is advice given to parents on this particular site as well, as to how you may help keep your children safe. This is a joint effort by all, which is needed today. There are handouts (safety tip sheets), which may be printed out, keeping them close by in classrooms or offices, at www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/schoolsafety_admin.aspx which is the National Association of School Psychologists; a fantastic site for resources and helpful guidelines. It will benefit adults as well as children, because we all need to be aware of our surroundings and can use these tips anywhere violence happens. It also gives guidelines as to conversations, in accordance with age appropriated children of course. Communications is important among teachers, parents and children today; and remember, no one is exempt from violence, as it can happen anywhere at any time.

Some schools have gone as far as hiring school certified security officers. There are special programs and security training offered for these positions, but I feel that every school should have someone that is trained, specifically in administration. It would be beneficial for at least one person to know ‘how to’ help and be able to ‘act’ fast in the event of a violent act on school grounds; and one day it might be required. There are special approved programs for this at www.schooldangers.org/certification , among others. Safety should be first and foremost throughout our schools and colleges, and the ability to talk about issues that revolve around violence. These senseless acts are killing our kids, and I for one will worry anytime my child walks on to a campus, anywhere. We need to educate ourselves as well as our children today; it’s our job as adults to provide valuable information to one another and stay informed about procedures used in the event of an emergency. If I can get at least one person interested in providing useful information or print out guidelines from one of these sites… then I’ve done my job here. Please take the time talk to your children today about what’s happening in our schools, and last but not least… Hug them and tell them how much they are loved. Stay Safe and let’s help educate one another.

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