Recently, a community member asked me what parents and community members can do to help make their local schools safer. This is a fantastic question! I started to wonder whether other parents and community members might have the same question, which led to this article.
The following questions are a great place to start.
Ask your school’s administration or a member of the school board the following questions to get the conversation going.
- What is your policy regarding contacting parents during an emergency?
- Do you have a policy or protocol that outlines timely warning procedures in the event of a threat to safety?
- Do you have a family reunification procedure. Has it been practiced?
- When was the last time the district crisis response plan was reviewed and updated?
- Are there protocols for response to fire, chemical spill, missing child, intruder, medical emergency, bomb threat, etc….
- Do all staff members have a plan or flip chart in their offices or classrooms?
- Have subs and auxiliary staff members been trained?
- Do classroom doors lock from the inside?
- What are your entrance security procedures?
- Do you have a threat assessment team? (many districts still don’t know what this is) If so, have the members been trained in threat assessment?
- What types of drills are you doing? How frequently?
These questions will get both parents and school staff thinking about what is working well, and what can be done better. To find out where to start with school safety, read this.