Is it just me, or is it super overwhelming when we talk about school safety? Thinking about overall security, the different ways schools can improve, training opportunities for teachers… I know, it’s a lot and I tend to start spiraling.
The parent role of educating my young child in safety is one I’ve worked to recently take on. While I’d like to spend my time focusing on my daughter’s future dreams of becoming a dentist (I credit this to the sweet peppermint aroma she enjoys smelling every time she brushes her teeth) it’s just not the world we live in. I also want to provide you, and myself, with a sense of comfort – basically, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated.
Let’s talk simple safety:
- Say My Name, Say My Name (thank you for this Destiny’s Child) – On a mom’s group I follow on Facebook there was an intense discussion about a child calling her mom by her first name. Whether your child has or hasn’t is beside the point. But I dare say it’s a great idea for safety! In case of an emergency at school or in public, your child should learn both parents’ or guardians’ first and last name. In case of an emergency, this would help to quickly identify who you are.
- Learn the Exits – Have you heard of the exit game? Basically, upon entering a new public place, teach your child where the exits are located. This can work at restaurants, the movie theatre, grocery stores and of course, school! This helped me to learn ALL the exits at my daughter’s school and I know they talk about them at school during drills and the proper use of exits for different emergency situations.
- Stranger Danger – We can’t think we are the only adult that enters our child’s school. I’ve seen not only parents but also relatives make their way in and out of school hallways. It’s important to talk about the differences of being kind and making new friends vs. talking to adults who are strangers. My daughter is not to talk to any adult outside of her teachers there’s no “if”, “ands”, or “butts”. Especially when they are younger, because they are easily confused. Keep it simple.
- Bathroom Safety – One of my biggest fears last year, her first year of school, was bathroom safety. She knew she had to walk to the restroom in silence (allows focus) and first check if an adult was in there. If they were, she needed to head back to the class. If not, she was good to go. Her school has passes on the door when an adult is in the restroom, so they recognize signs and what they mean. Ask your school about their bathroom safety! It really put my concerns at ease.
- School Pick-Up – Do you remember filling out the form for who can pick your child up from school? Ask your little, “who can pick you up from school?” And make sure they know. I tested my child today in the car and was so glad to hear her say “Only you mommy.” That’s right, Kid! Gold Star!
If you’re interested to see what your school district is doing in terms of security updates, I recommend you check out this great interactive map I found on CBS 11 News website. It was easy to use and I love hearing about positive updates from school district’s. It helps me see the rainbow after quite a few storms.