Who To Contact About School Safety Concerns

Who To Contact About School Safety Concerns

May 21, 2018

We recently conducted a poll on our Facebook page and asked our fans a simple question: “Is your child’s school safe enough to protect them if an active shooter incident occurred?” 77% of respondents said no.

If you’re like most parents, it’s hard not to think about your child’s safety while at school. One recent report noted that more children have died in 2018 because of a school shooting incident than people in our armed forces. That means that our children are in more danger going to school each day than soldiers who fight to keep this country safe.

After each school shooting the amount of “thoughts and prayers” that are posted online and in the media may be a slight comfort to the parents who have lost their children, but the reality is that there is not enough being done to address school safety and security to prevent this tragic loss of life from happening. We’re not advocating for people to take a political side or argue gun rights – those are issues that will likely take years to solve and do not present schools, parents and students with a reasonable solution to safety RIGHT NOW.

We believe there are actions that can be taken right now from parents, community leaders, teachers, students and others to help spark a very needed change in classroom and safety security and they all start with a simple question: “what is being done at the school level to help keep kids safe?”

Depending on who you ask this question to, the answer you receive is likely not enough. Unfortunately, active shooter protocols vary from district to district around the country. There is no minimum standard for classroom safety which leaves teachers and students using desks and chairs to barricade doors. Some training programs such as the ALICE method suggest using classroom materials, supplies, etc. to “counter” a shooter and prevent that person from aiming and shooting accurately.

Our children deserve better which is why we are encouraging everyone to start a conversation with the administrators at their child’s school about what is being done to help keep kids safe.

Here are a few tips on starting a dialog to spark change and improve school safety:

  1. Know what questions to ask. In addition to asking what is being done to keep your child safe at school, ask to see a copy of the Emergency Response Plan that will be followed in the event of an active shooter. Ask if teachers or students are trained on what to do if the fire alarm is pulled, but no fire exists. Ask if classrooms are equipped with safety devices to ensure student safety or if desks and chairs are supposed to be used.
  2. Follow the chain of command. Start by talking with the school’s assistant principal and principal on specific safety concerns at your child’s school. Then work up the “chain-of-command” to the superintendent and school board.
  3. Constructively communicate with school officials. Going on the attack, pointing fingers, placing blame, and making threats will not move the conversation closer to resolving school safety issues.  Try to sincerely work with school administrators cooperatively, not in an adversarial manner.
  4. See if others share your concerns. Other parents are likely to share your same school safety concerns. If parents collectively communicate these concerns through the school’s parent organization or as an informal but collective group, greater attention may be paid to the matter by school administrators and/or the school board.

 

Have you recently reached out to your child’s school to ask about safety and security issues? Join the conversation by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share your thoughts.




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