From disenfranchised students in Colorado, to a mentally deranged man in Connecticut, to the threat of terrorism, all the way to internet based “hoaxes” we have come to understand that students of all ages and their teachers are significantly more likely to face a disruptive and even dangerous event on campus.
As parents we desperately want to believe that our institutions have prioritized safety and are providing meaningful-perspective based training so teachers and students will know what to do in an emergency. It is scary and even paralyzing to believe otherwise.
I formed the Campus Safety Group because I am first a parent, and second an expert of Campus Safety issues. My objective is to empower parents to have the courage to pull back the curtain and make sure that what you’re being told about safety is actually what is happening.
The simple fact is that most schools lack the manpower, funds, and/or expertise to efficiently provide meaningful training or provide effective safety related systems (cameras - effective door locks etc..) The result is we are being told “all is well” and that just is not true. This is where parent paralysis kick in. We really want to believe all IS well and the issue is dropped.
Ask just about any teacher how much meaningful training they have received about “lock-downs” and they will tell you they have a “one-size fits all” drill once or twice a year. Dig deeper and you’ll frequently find out that support staff (parent volunteers - yard duty – kitchen – custodians) do not participate in the drills even though they are an integral part of the response if a situations happens at recess or lunch.
My point is we can’t fill safety gaps until/unless the school is made aware of, or is willing to admit the gaps exist. That is our job as parents. Ask meaningful questions and don’t simply accept the standard “we’ve got this” response. Pull the curtain back and pay attention.