Ensuring Your Child’s Safety: Vital Questions Every Parent Must Ask Their Child’s School
In today’s rapidly changing world, the safety and security of our children have become paramount concerns for parents and families. As the landscape of potential threats continues to evolve, it’s crucial for schools to have well-defined safety protocols in place. To ensure your child’s well-being, it’s imperative to ask the right questions and gain a comprehensive understanding of your school’s safety measures. Here are three essential questions that parents and families should pose to their schools:
What is the policy and procedure when a threat is received? Who is responsible for overseeing the procedure’s proper execution?
In an increasingly unpredictable world, it’s essential to be informed about the school’s response to potential threats. Parents should seek detailed information about the school’s threat assessment and response protocol. A well-prepared school will have a clear policy for evaluating and addressing threats, which should involve the collaboration of teachers, administrators, and law enforcement if necessary. It’s crucial to know who holds the responsibility for overseeing the execution of these procedures to ensure they are followed promptly and effectively. Don’t let the principal pass of the responsibility with statements like “it’s a team effort” or “we’re all responsible.” While these are true, somewhere in the chain of command is an individual who has school safety plan listed on his or her responsibilities. Keep in mind, also, that threats involve internal and external threats. This includes student to student threats and Bullying.
What method does the school employ for mass communications in the event of a major event?
In times of crisis, communication is key. Parents should inquire about the school’s communication strategy for notifying families during emergencies. Modern technology offers various channels for instant communication, such as text messages, emails, and dedicated apps. Attending the recent National School Safety Conference in Las Vegas, it’s apparent that schools are embracing technological advances to enhance safety measures. Ensuring that you’re promptly informed about any major events allows you to take appropriate actions and stay connected with your child’s school community.
What are the protocols for an active shooter situation, and what is the policy regarding locking doors and how is it enforced?
While it’s a difficult topic to discuss, understanding the protocols for responding to an active shooter scenario is essential for ensuring your child’s safety. Schools should have well-practiced and rehearsed plans in place that involve quick lockdown procedures, effective communication with law enforcement, and strategies for minimizing risk. This includes a proactive and enforced policy regarding locking school and classroom doors. Parents should be aware of these protocols and feel confident that the school has taken every measure to protect their children.
When asking these questions, it’s important to approach the principal, who should be well-versed in the school’s safety procedures. If you encounter resistance or a lack of clarity, don’t hesitate to escalate the matter to the area superintendent. Insisting on direct communication with the superintendent ensures that your concerns are taken seriously and addressed appropriately. Don’t let them pass you to a secretary. while secretaries are hard working and devoted employees, it is the superintendent and school administrators who are responsible to the stakeholders, not secretaries. Unfortunately, over the years, it has become common practice for secretaries to handle such matters. Insist on speaking to the area superintendent or other administrator. Also, be sure and find out where the person you speak with is listed in the system’s hierarchy or chain of command. This ensures that he or she has the authority to take action if needed.
There are many other questions that you could ask, but after these three, you will know if the school and system are prioritizing school safety. As a concerned parent or family member, it’s your right and responsibility to ensure your child’s safety while they’re at school. By asking these critical questions and staying informed about your school’s safety measures, you contribute to creating a secure environment where students can thrive without unnecessary worries.
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The MEN was founded by John Huber in the fall of 2020. It was founded to provide a platform for expert opinion and commentary on current issues that directly or indirectly affect education. All opinions are valued and accepted providing they are expressed in a professional manner. The Maryland Education Network consists of Blogs, Videos, and other interaction among the K-12 community.