Your kids are going back to school, and for kindergarteners, they are starting for the first time. As a parent, you may be a little ( or very) nervous about their first day in school. School safety is a top priority for parents, teachers and administrators. The faculty at most schools are not only trained on school security practices, they are also trained to talk to students in an age appropriate way without scaring them. This training is invaluable as they guide the children on fire drills, tornado drills and school intruder drills. As young children come home with questions, parents need to be ready too. Here are a few school safety tips for parents they may make you feel more confident for some of the lessons that your children will bring home.
School Safety Tips for Parents
The first few days of school can be really hectic for parents and teachers. That said, most teachers appreciate involved parents and embrace the opportunity to work together. Talk to your child’s teachers or school principals about school safety plans. Ask them what the procedures are for fires, active shooters, tornadoes, etc. Also, ask about parental access to emergency alerts and school emergency contact information. While some schools may hesitate to share every part of their plans and strategies, make yourself aware of the information available to you. A prepared parent can be an asset should something go wrong and anything that the school can do to prevent panicked parents from rushing the school in an emergency is a smart plan.
Talk to your child about emergencies at their age level. Young children need simple information that is not overwhelming or frightening. Balance the new and potentially scary information with reassurance. Let your child that their school and home are safe, and that adult are available to protect them. And while it may be difficult, don’t get too emotional on the first day of school. Young children often gauge how threatening or scary an event is by their parent’s reactions. Holding back your emotion helps to reinforce the idea that school is a happy, fun, and safe place for your child.
Terms to learn before the first day:
Here are a few terms by healthychildren.org that may be helpful for parents to know before back to school.
- Evacuation: Used to move everyone out of the building. An evacuation is when everyone leaves the building and move to a nearby pre-designated safe location. Schools practice evacuations almost monthly during fire drills.
- Relocation: Moves everyone to a pre-designated offsite location following an evacuation.
- Depending on the time of day and the circumstances, students could be released to go home or moved to another building. Plans are also typically in place for students and staff who may need assistance moving to the relocation site.
- Shelter-in-place: Used during severe weather, such as a tornado.This is a precaution aimed to keep people safe while remaining indoors.
- Lockdown: Used when there is a potential danger inside the school. A lockdown includes securing each room by locking the door(s) and directing everyone to move away from windows and doors. Typically, local law enforcement arrives to secure the site and arrange for evacuation.
- Lockout: Used to secure the school from a possible threat outside the building, such as when an unauthorized person is on the grounds. During a lockout, access to the building is restricted, but there may be some limited movement within the building.
Guard 911 Helps Protect Schools
Understanding these terms and precautions can help prepare you for your child’s first week of school. As any teacher may tell you, proper preparation can prevent a panic. These ideas and drills can seem scary to parents as well as children, but taking precautions and planning for emergencies can actually make children feel safer in an emergency situation.
At Guard911 our mission is to protect your child. Our Guard911 app is used in by staff in many schools. In the event of a highly violent act such as an active shooting, an approved employee can use the Guard911 app to press a panic button. This sends an alert to all mobile devices of the federal, state, and local law officers participating (on and off duty).
Every school handles emergencies differently, so the best thing to do is educate yourself and be prepared. Talk to you child, and let them know they are safe and have people looking out for them. Help them understand that emergencies happen but they are surrounded by people who will work to ensure their safety. Teachers, administrators and the local police all work to make sure that school is a safe place to be. And if you have concerns, speak to your child’s school about Guard911 and how it could help improve the safety of their students.