The media perpetuate stories of name calling, violence, and racial slurs in schools around the country, and this creates concern for parents. Never has creating an effective security system been more important. Equally important is the parent perception of safety measures.
Schools are constantly making efforts to make schools safer, and teachers are working overtime to ensure children are supported, respected, and ultimately feel safe. We are facing challenging times where safety is a number one priority, but leading safety proponents are faced with the difficulty of implementing effective safety measures.
To help invested parties make schools safer, here are some top intervention, prevention, and education strategies to help students thrive at school without having to worry about their well-being.
Implement a Visitor Management System
Secure access points to buildings are essential in today’s climate, and with a visitor management system for schools, colleges, and universities that is built by a team of dedicated professionals, safety is at the forefront of operations. With a system that monitors and evaluates visitors, a comprehensive background screening solution is implemented. With the advancement of GPS technology, a visitor management system creates a log of visitors to a designated area, reducing the risk of unwanted visitors. This helps with threat assessment and creates peace of mind for parents and students.
Establish Clear School PoliciesIt’s important to address internal issues like harassment, non-discrimination policies, and bullying. One of the biggest threats to students is students themselves, so by creating clear policies you can reinforce goals that benefit student safety. You can even make students sign agreements to reinforce measures, which safeguards against malpractice by establishing clearly defined parameters. Develop community goals based on respect and care for others, and prioritize equity and inclusion. Acknowledge unacceptable behavior publicly, and highlight incidents to be dealt with going forward.
Assess Your SchoolAssess the influences that reflect school culture, and assess the impact of past practices on current behavior. Evaluate school policies, how students interact, and the racial and gender dynamic that drives unity. Ensure families are engaged and involved with day-to-day operations, and develop meaningful action plans to highlight areas of improvement and maximize strength. Staff can also engage in their own self-assessments to develop an anti-bias approach.
Promote Safety PubliclyFind ways to highlight the safety of your school in the public domain. Create a culture that highlights how everyone is welcome, and promote an intolerance for discrimination. Publicly revealing your agenda sends a strong message, and makes a statement which reflects on the safety standards in place. You can incorporate a sign at the front of the school, a public letter to the community, and even align with modern outreach initiatives by establishing a presence on social media. If you celebrate diversity and involve the community, the perception of your school’s safety will elevate considerably.