Strategies for Cultivating Safe Schools
With violent acts—ranging from cyberbullying to campus shootings—remaining in the news, schools continue to face the challenge of making students and parents feel safe. It’s important to develop strategies that illustrate to parents, students, and even teachers that your school is equipped to handle unsafe behavior. Here are three strategies to help cultivate a safe school environment.
Prepare to respond
Create an action plan. Decide how you will respond to various security incidents. Start with a list of possible incidents and develop a disaster recovery plan for each scenario, including:
- Physical Altercations
- Missing Child(ren)
- Weapons on Campus
Prepare to share
Once your disaster recovery plan is complete, share it with staff and faculty so everyone is aware of the proper protocol. The plan should include “what to do when” scenarios with individuals responsible for certain tasks. Share with faculty what is expected of them in each of these situations, and make sure they’re comfortable with how to handle security incidents.
In addition to sharing with faculty, let parents know that there are school-wide policies for unsafe behavior. Assure them that in the event of an incident, your staff is prepared to take every precaution possible to keep their children safe.
Prepare to report
One of the simplest ways to improve parents’ confidence is through communication. While it may not be realistic to give parents daily, detailed reports about their children and everything that is happening at the school, it’s important to keep lines of communication open.
If you recognize any warning signs of aggression or odd behavior, work with counselors or social work staff to communicate these occurrences to parents, allowing everyone to be more proactive in the cultivation of safe school environments.