Schools should be safe because it is important for the process of education to continue without interruptions, harm or danger.
Our schools are being challenged in today’s society. Terrorism has become a new safety concern in our schools nationwide. We have to make sure that parents do not worry about their children and focus on their learning.
Teachers have a big role in the learning process of our children, and it is also crucial in the role of safety. The majority of school safety incidents involves a lack of supervision. One of the first things we have to do is be aware of students under stress and the problems it could cause for a teacher.
We as a school district have a moral obligation to keep our schools safe. We do that by putting safety procedures in place that will protect our children. We have to be proactive in our approach to safety.
Every school needs a safety plan in place that puts to a stop anything that interferes with the process of learning for our children, and anything that could cause death or serious injury and emotional trauma to our students and staff. We need to have a preparedness plan to make sure that we’re ready for a crisis in advance.
Valley View School District is striving to achieve the goal of providing a safe and secure environment for our students, teachers and visitors through many avenues.
The most prominent is having an effective Crisis Management Plan. In VVSD, not only is there a district crisis management plan, but each school also has a plan that serves as a guideline in the event of an emergency.
Within these plans are detailed protocols to follow for bomb threats, bus accidents, an irate person on campus, death at school, fire, missing person, national emergency, weapons use and more.
Our security personnel are trained in the following: chemical agents, handling difficult people, access control evacuation procedures, communication and its significance, liability and legal aspects, observation and documentation, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, Automated External Defibrillator, conscious/unconscious choking, basic first aid skills, injury prevention, crisis prevention intervention, and public relations.
Although we never may completely eliminate the threat of violence in our schools, our experiences certainly suggest we can prepare with the intent of preventing it from reaching crisis level and completely disintegrating the trust between a community and its school system.
Leroy Brown is School Safety Coordinator for Valley View School District 365U