Safety Tips for Parents
Parents can help create safe schools and here are a few ideas that parents in other communities have tried.
- Discuss the school’s discipline policy with your child. Show your support for the rules and help your child understand the reasons for them.
- Involve your child in setting rules for appropriate behavior at home.
- Talk with your child about the violence he or she sees on television, in video games and possibly in the neighborhood. Help your child understand the consequences of violence.
- Teach your child how to solve problems. Praise your child when he or she follows through.
- Help your child find ways to show anger that do not involve verbally or physically hurting others. When you get angry, use it as an opportunity to model these appropriate responses for your child and talk about it.
- Note any disturbing behaviors in your child. For example, frequent angry outbursts, excessive fighting and bullying of other children, cruelty to animals, fire setting, frequent behavior problems at school and in the neighborhood, lack of friends and alcohol or drug use can be signs of serious problems. Get help for your child. Talk with a trusted professional in your child’s school or in the community.
- Keep lines of communication open with your child even when it is difficult. Encourage your child to let you know where he or she is going and who will be there. Get to know your child’s friends.
- Listen to you child if he or she shares concerns about friends who may be exhibiting troubling behaviors. Share this information with a trusted professional, such as the school psychologist, principal or teacher.
- Be involved in your child’s school life by supporting functions such as parent conferences, class programs, open houses and PTA meetings.
- Work with your child’s school to make it more responsive to all students and to all families. Share your ideas about how the school can encourage family involvement, welcome all families and include them in meaningful ways in their children’s education.
- Encourage your school to offer before and after school programs.
- Volunteer to work with the school-based groups concerned with violence prevention. If none exist, offer to form one.
- Find out if there is a violence prevention group in your community. Offer to participate in the group’s activities.
- Talk with the parents of your child’s friends. Discuss how you can form a team to ensure your child’s safety.
- Find out if your employer offers provisions for parents to participate in school activities.
Reprinted from: Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools.
WHAT PARENTS CAN DO TO HELP SCHOOLS KEEP THEIR CHILDREN SAFE DURING AN EMERGENCY OR CRISIS SITUATION
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
During some type of emergency situations, schools will implement a lock-down or Shelter in Place mode. These are procedures recommended by law enforcement and emergency service personnel and are designed to protect students and staff. Students will be secured in a classroom and other school site and told to remain calm and quiet until receiving further instructions. Teachers will take their class roster and account for all students in their classroom and those who are elsewhere in the building. Doors to classrooms and the school building will be locked to protect students. A buffer zone will be established at each school to provide limited access for parents. If necessary, students will be evacuated in an orderly, calm fashion.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO:
- Trust your school and community emergency services personnel to do what is best for your child.
- Tell your child to stay in school and follow instructions. Students who leave school face greater risks, and the need to search for missing students can delay or impede safety procedures.
- Listen to radio and television for the latest information regarding the emergency, or follow your school’s procedures for receiving emergency information.
- Refrain from trying to retrieve your child from school. If necessary, students will be released to parents. However, in the interest of safety, it may be necessary to request identification to protect your child.
- Talk to your school principal or school resource officer about what you can do to support safe schools.
For more information, log onto www.ready.gov or ask your school office for copies of Homeland Security safety information.