Gone are the days when parents could send their children off to school without a moment of worry over their safety. These days, drugs, bomb threats, disgruntled students with access to guns or other weapons, gang violence and terrorism bombard parents and their children with fear never experienced by past generations. What is being done to keep our children safe?
Officials are striving toward better crisis preparedness, gang prevention and control, training for staff and students in a crisis, and protection at special events. Some schools have been employing help from security services that specialize in school safety and emergencies.
Others busy themselves becoming familiar with anti-terrorism awareness training programs. History shows it is important for our schools to cooperate and openly communicate with local fire, police, and medical services in case of emergency.
Once training takes place for staff and students, it is very beneficial to test, review and improve any methods involved at keeping our children safe, much the same as fire drills were practiced in past years.
Some schools require students and all staff to wear picture IDs, entrances are reduced and the ones left closely monitored as well as benefiting from added security of metal detectors.
History reminds us of a time when strict dress codes were enforced and children’s behavior reflected their grooming habits. Some schools have considered returning to that standard, perhaps even enforcing students to wear uniforms.
Video surveillance has resulted in lower on-grounds crime and fights. Added security guards have promoted a safer environment, as well. Security equipment has a downside, though. Burglars are tempted to break in schools and rob them.
It isn’t likely that threats to our children at school will be going away any time soon. If anything, it may continue to grow worse. Perhaps the best measure parents can take is to talk to their children, and take whatever measures are necessary to keep them safe.