School safety is increasingly becoming a concern. Whether it’s bullying, drugs, or an act of violence, classrooms are no longer the safe places shown to us in vintage films. Students attending a middle school or high school are at risk for drugs, bullying, and violence. If you, as a teacher, concerned parent, or principle, want to know more about keeping your kids safe from these threats, take some time to investigate.
While most movies and cartoons show bullies as big, misunderstood kids with freckles, real life bullies come in every shape and size. They’re not asking for milk money, either. Bullying can happen over text, Facebook, email, in the classroom, in the hallways, or on school grounds. Kids are bullied for many reasons, and in some cases, the bullying is so intense the child or teen becomes suicidal. The issue has become so serious that most anti-bullying websites include a suicide prevention hotline. As a parent, it’s important for you to watch for warning signs in your kids. Most schools have a strict “no-bullying” policy, but that’s often impossible to enforce. Make sure there’s space for your child to tell you about the bullying. If they’re experiencing any kind of bullying, talk to them, encourage them, never blame them, and help them develop solutions. As a teacher, do likewise. Kids try to keep bullying out of the hands of adults, but you have the better shot of shutting down the problem.
School shootings are on everyone’s heart, and as the last couple of years haven’t brought an end to this disturbing trend, it’s important to be vigilant. Regularly teaching students about safety measures and having an in-school security system are both valuable ways to keep students safe. A visitor management system with geofencing capabilities will background check visitors, volunteers, and vendors, helping to protect your campus from outside threats.
Drugs have been an issue on middle school and high school campuses for decades, but they’re starting to change. Drugs were recently disguised as sweet tarts, and kids have been bringing vodka gummy bears to school. Harder to catch, it’s even more important that teachers and school staff be vigilant. As a parent, your biggest job is making sure your child knows how to say no. Teaching them proper boundaries, and teaching them to respect their own opinion above someone else’s, will help keep your child safer in a school environment.
While it’s important to be ready, we also don’t need to toss and turn, afraid of every possibility. With proper measures, and proper communication with our kids, everyone can stay safe.