Kids are headed back to school, which means that parents will have their hands full preparing their children for what’s to come. To encourage safety, parents must work together school administrators. To that end, a new report out of Reno provides some important safety advice from the National Crime Prevention Council and their McGruff the Crime Dog program and AlertID, a service that provides those who sign up with updates on various matters of interest to the community.
The first few tips on hand focus on helping school officials do what they can to promote safety at school and throughout the district. Schools can protect kids by having stringent policies in place that target those activities that prove the most dangerous. Incoming students should know that bringing drugs, alcohol, or weaponry to school is grounds for disciplinary and even law enforcement action.
Schools also stand to gain when they get students more involved in matters of safety. If someone suspects that they have witnessed an illegal activity or something that has the potential to harm another student, they should feel like they’re in an environment where they can report that behavior. The school itself can initiate campaigns that solicit the help of students, especially teenagers. By giving teens responsibilities, such as running a graffiti removal program or getting them interested in a Crime Watch-type endeavor, they’ll be more willing to help out with matters of safety and others will follow suit.
It’s also important that schools develop a rapport with local law enforcement. Open communication is essential for safety. If the school feels there could be a threat, there should be a way to get in touch with the necessary authorities, and police officers should have a means to speak with school officials as well.
Safety can also be furthered by instituting some kind of identification system that requires anyone coming in to the school, be they students, teachers, or visitors, to show a badge to be allowed in. That way, persons who don’t belong will be unable to get through and will stick out like a sore thumb. Emergency plans should also be enacted and practiced so that students and teachers alike know what to do when adversity strikes.
Policies like these also work best when everyone takes an active interest in them. Parents should have an understanding of emergency action plans and various policies meant to encourage safety. They should also encourage their teens to tell them about things that make them question their wellbeing, such as bullying, suspicious persons, and anything else that can make a student’s day more stressful. If need be, a parent should be willing to speak with the school or even law enforcement if they feel that a safety issue has arisen.