Advertisement

School Safety Awareness


If you were asked to close your eyes and picture the place where you feel most safe and secure, most likely you would imagine your own home. As parents, we have measures in place; like teaching our children to lock the doors, to never open them to strangers, and to have a plan in case of a fire. These measures are most likely second nature, yet their combined efforts are what makes our home feel like a safe-haven. But what about school safety? Have we put the same amount of effort and thought into the place where our children probably spend the most time, other than at home?

Know your school’s safety procedures. Every school has policies and procedures on security and emergency preparedness. Each school’s procedures may be slightly different so it is important for you to know your school’s safety plan. Gwynn Shamlin, East Baton Rouge Parish I CARE Program Director says, “The East Baton Rouge Parish School System publishes an annual Student Handbook, as does each individual school. The handbooks make recommendations to parents regarding safety, including bus, Internet, and school safety suggestions.” Take a moment to review your school’s procedures in the handbook or with administration, and if you find an area of safety that you feel might be lacking, address the issue with your child’s school.

Communicate with teachers and faculty. All schools should have a staff that has been trained on what to do in a variety of emergency situations, but keep in mind that you are still the best advocate for your child. Ask your child’s teacher or administrators what plans they have in place for emergencies such as fires, hurricanes, intruders, or other safety threats to your child’s school. Keep in mind that some safety drills may be intentionally unannounced.
Communicate with your child. Ask your child questions about school safety. Is there any area in their school where they do not feel safe? Do they know what to do in case of emergency? Do they have a trusted adult who they feel comfortable talking to in any emergency? Louisiana’s Department of Homeland Security encourages the community to report suspicious activity with the concept of “If you see something, say something.” For East Baton Rouge Parish schools, Shamlin says their I CARE Program’s “Be the One” curriculum enforces this idea. Trained specialists, teachers, and counselors teach the “Be the One” curriculum encouraging children to be aware of their surroundings and to “be the one” to notify a teacher if something seems amiss. Discuss this idea with your child and ensure that he has a trusted adult at school who he feels comfortable talking to in any emergency. 

Know how emergencies will be communicated to you. Most schools have a school-wide alert system of some kind, and often the communication comes from multiple sources. In an emergency situation, your school may make phone calls, send emails or text alerts, or use social media to get the word out. For East Baton Rouge Parish schools, Shamlin says their system-wide phone alert system, J-Campus, can contact parents via home phone and cell phone to relay urgent safety messages in a timely manner. If you were to take only one step for school safety, let it be this: take a few minutes to check with your child’s school and be sure you are set up to receive all emergency alerts by whichever method is offered at your school.

Do your part. Maintain a partnership addressing and understanding school safety. Do your part by knowing and respecting your school’s safety procedures. For example, do you follow all school safety procedures such as checking in to receive a visitor identification badge or parking in designated areas? Keep in mind that sometimes doing your part may also mean letting your school’s administration do theirs. Once you know that your school has emergency procedures in place, don’t waste valuable time making multiple calls or visits to the school during a potential crisis situation. Trust the administration to implement the plans they have in place to keep your children safe at school. ■

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

01 Nov 2017


By Lauren Labbé Meher

Recent Articles more articles

Tri Training, Littles Style!

in Health and Wellness, Family Life, Kelly Carmena

I have never met a kid so fierce and strong as my daughter. This kid is non-stop. She is determined and pushes both my husband and I to stay active because she loves being active.

Choosing Easy

in Health and Wellness, Family Life, Kelly Carmena

A fellow mother once told me, “I have come to realize that the hard choices we make as parents tend to be the right choices.” We were discussing whether or not I should send my son to school the day of the last honor roll assembly this past week.

Parenting Advice from The Sopranos?

in Family Life, Mari Walker

I was a high school senior when The Sopranos debuted 20 years ago. I lived in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma, and didn’t have basic cable let alone access to HBO to see the cultural juggernaut as it was airing for the first time.

A Playdate-Style Birthday Party

in Family Life, Crafts and Cooking, Party, Mari Walker

Birthday parties for littles can add up fast. For a few Benjamins, you can take them and a few friends to a bounce place or rent a bounce house for your backyard. We didn’t start big parties like that for my older daughter until she was about five.

Featured Listings more listings

Twin Lakes Camp

in Day Camps, Residential Camps

Since 1970, Twin Lakes has provided families with a summer camp program nestled in the rolling hills and piney woods of central Mississippi. With day camp for ages 5-8, overnight camps for ages 6-12, the L.I.T. program for teens age 13-15, and more.

St. Thomas More Catholic School

in Private Schools

Saint Thomas More Catholic School is committed to continuing a legacy of excellence in religious and academic education in a nurturing environment that fosters self-discipline.

Catholic High School

in Private Schools

Catholic High's holistic approach to education builds a community spirit that is characterized by Christian values, an orderly and disciplined atmosphere, a personal approach to education and a commitment to academic excellence.

St. James Episcopal Day School

in Private Schools

St. James Episcopal Day School offers an exceptional education for three-year-olds through fifth graders. Named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2009 and 2015, St. James provides a foundation of academic excellence and a spiritual foundation.

Advertisement
Newsletter