School safety is multifaceted. There is not one single solution to creating a safe school environment. There are many pieces of the puzzle that must be placed to achieve a higher level of safety at school, the following are a few must haves when it comes to school safety.
Mental health services for staff and students
According to a RAND Corporation Survey, “Nearly three-fourths of teachers and 85 percent of principals are experiencing frequent job-related stress”.
Another study found that, “overall, 21.8 percent of U.S. children ages 3 to 17 have one or more of the common mental, emotional, and behavioral health conditions assessed”.
It is clear that mental health is something that needs attention. Teachers and students must have access to mental health services. There have been more instances of school violence that is often at least partially related to mental health struggles. Addressing mental health early and often will contribute to school safety.
Positive culture contributes to school safety
Every school has its own personality and culture. Each individual staff member or student has their own home or family culture. Bringing those two together is an important piece of a positive school culture.
A positive school culture contributes to school safety. When staff and students feel safe learning will be more effective. In addition when staff and students have a good experience they won’t build up animosity that could lead to future violence.
Communication will make or break the outcome in an emergency. Contacting first responders requires communication. From telling them your location to explain the type of emergency you have. Quick and accurate communication is so important. Communication between staff, students and parents is also important when considering school safety.
Every school needs a safety plan. Preparation for any emergency is crucial to school safety. When you know your risks and what to do if they happen your chance of staying safe increases. Safety plans include how to respond in an emergency situation for both staff and students. It may require regular training and reminders. It also requires forms of communication that can transmit information quickly and accurately.
Buy-in from everyone
Have a safety plan. Build a culture. Communicate effectively. Have access to mental health services. You must have buy-in from everyone, access to information is not enough and there has to be follow through. Regular tweaks and feedback for what is working or not. Everyone must agree and be invested in executing each of these to the best of their ability.
When everyone truly believes in the protocols they are more likely to execute appropriately.
Once you have all this working together you’re setting yourself up for success. Building a culture of connection. Safety assessments with customized plans and quick accurate communication puts you on the right path. Reach out to Alert Protection Services to increase safety today.