Propel Your School Safety with this Tip
School’s focus a lot of their time on staff training and preparedness, from summer training to teacher work days throughout the year. Many states require students be taught about fire safety, but often times, the students are left out in the preparedness process. Read how students can make a difference in safety and be used as a safety asset, how you can start the safety conversation with them, and how to discuss safety, taking student age into consideration.
Students are a great safety asset because they are keen observers and often hear of unsafe situations before staff realize it. Use them as “safety ambassadors” if you will. Students can help identify potential risks such as violence, fights, students bringing weapons to school, or even a suspicious person they may notice in the parking lot. They can also be helpful in identifying things like flash flooding that may come into the school, or a medical emergency with a teacher or fellow classmate.
Safety conversations with students should begin early, from the time they are first entering school until they graduate. Start with fire first responders talking to students about fire safety, what to look for, things they should do if they smell smoke, and how to evacuate safely depending on where the fire is. These are all basics that are taught to most students early in their education, but it should be continued and reminder training done often, especially at a young age. You can also bring in special guest speakers to talk about student violence, suspicious persons, and some risks they should look for in their daily lives, whether at school or home.
The age of the students should be taken into consideration when talking about safety precautions and risks. For instance, younger students in lower elementary should be taught about fire safety, while older students in high school should learn what suspicious activity looks like, who to notify if they see something suspicious, and how to respond to an active shooter or armed intruder situation. Keep age and mental capacity in mind when talking to students and training them on risks.
Students are a great asset to school safety and should be trained similarly to teachers. They should be able to identify risks and know how to notify administrators of something they see or hear. Use students as “safety ambassadors” for their schools, they don’t need to have knowledge of safety plans or procedures, but they should have enough safety knowledge to help keep your school environment safe and stay safe in their personal lives.