Parents and Safety
What parents can do to help keep schools safe
Your role as a parent is critical to improving the safety of our schools. You can help by becoming involved in your child's school. Your involvement and visibility is essential to your child's success both academically and with regard to safety
Ways you can help:
- Parent involvement and visibility make schools safer. Make it your responsibility to become active in your child's school as your schedule permits.
- Visit frequently. Be sure to follow sign-in procedures when you arrive and sign-out procedures when you leave.
- Volunteer to help in your child's classroom or elsewhere in the school as often as you can and encourage other parents to visit and volunteer.
- Become a member of the school's Parent-Teacher-Association or other parent-teacher organization. Your participation will help you become acquainted with school personnel.
- Find out what your child's school is doing to establish and maintain a safe learning environment. If policies and procedures are in place, determine how they are communicated to parents and students? This knowledge can help answer your child's questions and concerns with facts rather than myths.
- Identify methods for reporting safety concerns. Find out how you can address safety concerns with school administrators.
- Find out how schools and community resources can be accessed should problems arise.
- Encourage your child to get to know school staff other than his/her teacher(s) and get acquainted with them yourself. Familiarity helps children recognize adults who don't belong as well as adults who can offer help when needed.
- Get to know your child's friends and their families. Productive friendships and a sense of common purpose among students, teachers, and neighbors make schools and communities safer.
- Ask your child about safety in his/her school. Students often know where they feel most safe and least safe. Ask why? What can be done to improve safety?
- Encourage your child to stay close to friends and to walk in groups in school hallways. Suggest that he/she uses school facilities located in high traffic areas or in areas more likely to be visited by staff.
- Encourage your child to choose friends carefully and to avoid students who do not handle anger effectively.
- Ask your child to report incidents of guns to his/her teachers or staff.
- Evaluate how you are doing in making your child's school safe. Do you follow parking, visitor and other safety procedures at your school? Do you talk with your child's teacher, principal or other staff member about safety at school?
What should you say to your child about school safety?
- Explain to your child the steps his/her school is taking to promote safety.
- Explain that everyone has a responsibility for making schools safe---even children. For example, if he/she hears that someone is going to bring a gun to school, he/she has the responsibility to tell you or an adult at school.
- Explain that violence is not an acceptable solution to problems and that violence is wrong.
- Say that you are ready to listen. Ask your child questions about how he/she feels about safety at school, and actively listen to the answers.
- Explain that you will follow up with the school about concerns that are raised, and keep him/her informed about what is being done.
- Explain that the Student Code of Conduct must be understood by all students.