When your child starts a new school, you probably have a million questions bouncing around in your head about testing, methods, expectations, etc. But, while education questions are obviously important, some of the less obvious questions involve your child’s safety. If you are unfamiliar with the school and their safety procedures, here are a few questions to get you started.
Are They Prepared for All Emergencies (Not Just Shooters)?
Most talk of emergencies in schools today seems to center around shooters or intruders entering a school, and this is certainly a scary possibility. But, the truth is, it’s one of the least likely scenarios your student could encounter while at school. Much more likely are instances of bad weather or violence in the surrounding area. So, before you launch into questions about shooters and gun violence, educate yourself on the school’s procedures for tornados or hurricanes (depending on your area) so you can prepare your child. Asking these questions will help you understand what will be expected of your child but will also reassure you that your child’s school is prepared for every eventuality.
How Will the School Communicate With You?
When there is an emergency, how will you be made aware? And is their communication plan one you are comfortable with? For instance, many schools now inform parents of developments through text message. Is your phone capable of receiving texts? Will you have it with you enough for this to be effective? Can you opt out of texts and choose to receive a phone call? Asking these questions will guarantee that you are made aware of important events occurring at your child’s school.
How Can You Help At Home?
Preparing your child for drills and emergencies at home is just as important as the drills they will experience at school. So, knowing what will be expected of them during a drill is essential. By asking about the procedures of drills and emergencies, you can begin preparation at home in a comfortable and safe atmosphere. Assure them that when drills, or even emergencies occur, there is no need to panic and that it is important for them to be on their best behavior. When this message is enforced at school and at home, it is more likely to sink in.
What is Expected of You?
When you, as a parent, hear of an emergency at your child’s school, your first instinct is to jump into action. But, this may be the wrong thing to do. Many schools ask that parents do not come to campus when an emergency is reported. First responders, police, and staff will all have jobs to do and issues they will be dealing with. Extra bodies wandering will only impede their ability to do their jobs. So, how can you stay abreast of the situation without getting in the way? This is what you should ask the school before the situation occurs.
What Types of Safety Devices Are in Place?
Besides procedures, what else is in place in your child’s school to help keep them safe in an emergency. If a shooter enters the building, will your student’s teacher need to rely on chairs and desks to barricade the door? Or is there a device in place, such as the Nightlock Classroom Door Barricade, that will make barricading the door quick and simple? Are you comfortable with the level of protection each classroom offers?
While there are many more questions that may come up when it comes to the safety procedures that keep your child safe while at school, these questions will get you started and will hopefully lead to much more in depth conversations.
This post was written by Jason Matznick at Nightlock