Safety in schools is paramount and is a matter of concern today. The rise in the number of unpleasant incidents is a worry for parents.
School safety refers to the provision of a safe atmosphere in schools where measures are taken to safeguard the students from bullying, harassment, and violence. School safety also includes safety in case of any disaster. The school needs to provide a safe and secure environment apart from quality education.
At this hour, we need to evaluate the situation and evolve ways we can let our children be safe while maintaining a stress-free situation for them as well as ourselves too.
School Safety Measures for Children
Here are some safety measures that schools can take and parents can check:
1. Physical Safety
It is necessary to keep the school environment including the school buildings, premises, laboratories, playgrounds, swimming pool, computer rooms, libraries, toilets, drinking water facilities, school buses, transport areas, and the surrounding safe. The buildings should be built to ensure safety and be more resistant to hazards. The school administration, staff, teachers as well as students are prepared for any calamity either natural or man-made.
2. Transportation Safety
The school administration should be equipped with an easy to use system to ensure the safety of children and fleet management in real-time, and constantly update parents of their children’s whereabouts.
GPS integration helps to gauge the performance of the driver while the vehicle tracking app assures parents of their child’s safety.
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3. Psychological Safety
Psychological safety in school is important to ensure students’ safety. Emotional and psychological maltreatment hampers a child’s overall well being. Therefore, schools must provide the right ambiance to develop and nurture talents to promote the holistic development of a child’s personality.
CCTV cameras should be installed on school premises to monitor and record children’s day to day life. The staff should be vigilant to understand key indicators of inappropriate or harmful behavior. The school must follow the prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery model of risk management. This model will help the school administration in matters related to child safety. School cameras can be useful in school safety investigations.
4. Visitor Management System
An online visitor management system with visitor sign-in information and photo ID badges will increase the level of security in schools. The system can mark student attendance and send reports to parents using simple SMS/email notifications. Devices such as radio frequency identification cards to fingerprint and facial recognition devices eliminate the chance of unauthorized entry into school premises.
As children spend a reasonable part of their day in school, the environment in school must remain positive and encouraging and student safety must be ensured. It is the responsibility of the schools to ensure that the students come to school feeling safe and welcomed. They have a loyal relationship with at least one adult in school. Children should seek help with the guidance and counseling cell of school.
5. Background Verification of Teachers before Appointment
To choose good teachers, the school should put in a system of background verification before appointing new teachers.
6. Conduct Drills
The school must conduct drills for disaster management. It can teach the tactics of self-defense. Workshops should be conducted to create awareness of increasing crimes against children. Children should be taught about good and bad touch.
7. Health and Hygiene
Health and hygiene play a vital role in the well being of a child. The school must provide a medical first-aid facility.
School safety is important. Safety promotes learning. A child will be able to focus on learning when he or she feels safe in the learning environment and it can only happen when the school is following proper safety measures. It also helps to protect students and staff from violence. Adequate safety in school leads to the overall development of children. It builds the trust of parents and enhances the goodwill of school.
8. Where Schools Seek Help
Schools and parents can reach various child protection helplines and organizations to ensure child safety and protection.
A government initiative Childline (1098) is a 24X7 free helpline service for children who are in distress or need of aid. Childline protects the rights of all children. It provides long term care and rehabilitation.
These were all the measures for school safety that every school coordinators should take care of.
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