Before a new school year kicks into full swing, one of the biggest questions on most parents' minds is safety. While you do everything you can to protect your children at home and on their way to and from school, while they are at school should also be a concern. With that in mind, asking the school staff what security measures are in place is important. If your questions don't get answered during the school's open house or in your child's school policy handbook, don't hesitate to ask at any time. Here are some questions you may want to ask.
Do You Have Lockdown Measures in Place?
When a school goes on lockdown, this generally means that no one can enter or leave the school premises. There could be several reasons for a lockdown, including
- a reported gunman on school grounds
- a potentially dangerous event within a specific radius around the school area
- an announced or suspected credible threat of violence or harm against students
Knowing what will happen to your child when the school is on lockdown is imperative. Some schools may decide to move children to a safer location or let them out at an earlier-than-scheduled time. Ask what type of alert is issued and what communication measures are used to ensure that all parents are notified when a credible or potential safety breach has taken place.
How Many Security Guards Do You Have?
Many schools have security guards on the school grounds throughout the day. Knowing that there are guards that monitor any suspicious activity and are there to help during a crisis inside the school can help provide you with some reassurance. Having a security guard present at the school decreases the chance of pre-planned violence among students.
What Is Your Student Sign-Out Policy?
Years ago, students often just left the classroom or were easily able to sign out and leave with their friends or family members. However, times have changed, and additional security measures and policies make it difficult if not impossible for most students to just walk off of the campus without permission or a severe reprimand. The school should have an updated file on hand for your child that states who they can and can't go home with. If this policy is breached, you should be contacted right away.
What Other Security Measures Do You Have in Place?
Security cameras that work around the clock can help detect vandalism and any suspicious activity that may occur before and during school hours. This additional security measure can reduce the risk of your child being put in danger throughout the school day. Ask your child's teacher about
- Security cameras
- Alarm systems
- Metal radar detectors just inside school doors
- Police patrol and presence
- Security guard presence around the clock
Knowing what additional measures your school takes will help you feel more comfortable when your child is there.
You can never be too cautious about school safety concerns. Contact your child's principal today to discuss any issues or questions you may have.