Have you ever thought about what exactly makes a school safe?
Is a "safe school" something tangible, concrete, real, visible? Or is it something vague, something in the background not thought about or considered to any great extent?
The truth of the matter, as we see it, is that declaring a school to be totally "safe" is problematic and unrealistic. If something bad DOES happen, the ripple effects can be devastating and long lasting:
School Safety Technologies:
Awhile ago, we had the distinct honor of being invited to participate in the making of a documentary through Penn State University and the National Institute of Justice. The following is a synopsis along with links to the page:
“It Can Happen Here” is a documentary video designed to inform and compel audiences of school safety stakeholders to prepare for man-made and natural emergencies. “It Can Happen Here” makes use of unprecedented access to those first responders, administrators, teachers, students and parents involved in some of the most horrific acts of school violence in U.S. history including the Columbine, Platte Canyon and Amish school house shootings. The lessons learned from these incidents are a primary focus of this video. “It Can Happen Here” also provides the viewers with the resources needed to develop a new school safety plan and to assess and improve upon an existing plan, primarily through relationship building and technology.
Please think about whose responsibility it is to ensure, to the extent possible, that our children are safe when they are sent off to school. This includes on their way to school, too. Think about at bus stops and on the bus ride to school, and on the walk to school for those who live close enough. Whose job is it, really?
If you believe it is solely the responsibility of the school they attend, please think again.
If you believe it is solely the responsibility of response organizations in your community, please think again.
Students, parents, and community are also responsible to help ensure our schools are safe places to be, not only for the kids, but also for the faculty, administration, and maintenance staff of every single school nationwide. If students, parents, and community members mobilize, get educated, get informed, and offer to help, then there can be no more excuses.
Students, parents, and community can, no - MUST, have a say and MUST play a role in enhancing safe schools everywhere!