The first day at a new school can be a frightening moment for parent and child alike. Your children’s safety should be one of your top priorities. Therefore, it is imperative that their school is one that understands the importance of safety for all children. Even beyond emergencies, schools should be probably equipped and staff should be properly trained to handle any sort of risk factors that may come up. Here are four points to consider when evaluating whether your child’s school is a safe zone.
Athletic programs are a longstanding tradition in schools and can teach numerous invaluable lessons, from teamwork to being gracious in victory as well as in defeat. It is also imperative that the athletic program at your child’s school follows proper regulations. With risk like sudden cardiac arrests, absolutely no chance should be taken nor should children be pushed past their physical or mental breaking points.
Most workplaces today are required to have some sort of policy in place to protect their employees and facilities in emergency situations. While a school might not seem like a hazardous workplace, even something as mundane as a school or office building is required to undergo safety inspections by a professional to make sure that systems are in place and up to date for things like fire prevention and hazard identification and control. Additionally, a safe school is one that properly demonstrates how to deal with emergencies. While the chances of fire, tornado, earthquake or other disasters striking may be slim, they do exist. Therefore, you need to make sure that your child’s school has proper protocol in place for all scenarios. Call the office and ask them to send you all relevant documentation they have pertaining to these scenarios.
A child who feels remotely threatened by their peers should be able to report it without any fear. While students can’t control the actions and emotions of their peers, they can control their own choices and responses to bullying and unkindness. A good anti-bullying policy will focus on teaching children how to do just that. If your child’s school has an acceptable anti-bullying policy, they will not tolerate any sort of harassment or unwelcome attention foisted upon one of their students. If your child is being bullied, they may be reluctant to speak up about it. Ask them calmly if they ever feel unsafe around others. If they say yes, then you need to contact the school to find out what they will do to prevent situations like those.
A school is a place of learning, socializing and developing. It is also a building and one that should be minded with absolutely thorough attention to detail. Call and ask about recent building inspection reports to ensure that your child’s school is up to code and free of dangers like asbestos. If attention isn’t paid to the integrity of a school building, then the integrity of the school on a whole is in question.
A safe school does not need to make any grand statements touting itself as such. Rather, it will demonstrate safety through professionalism and support for all students in all necessary matters. As a parent, it is your right to make sure your child’s school is the safe zone it’s supposed to be.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys Tennis and spending time with her family.