Some Things Being Done About School Safety
Every time a school suffers a violent tragedy the forces that be, such as the school boards, government and law enforcement agencies, investigate what more could have been done to prevent the tragedy. This means taking a closer look at school safety measures as well as the methods used by emergency personnel and staff. In a way, every incident of school violence teaches us something that saves lives down the road.
The changes in the way school violence is handled have been more apparent since the Columbine shootings in 1999 with even more policies taking effect since the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007. While both of these incidents were terrible tragedies, they have been responsible for the creation and implementation of some very effective new policies and procedures that have made our schools safer. Here are just a few things that have been or are being done about school safety.
Metal Detectors in Schools: The incorporation of school metal detectors was met with apprehension by some, but in the end it has been proving effective in keeping weapons out of our schools.
Before and After-School Programs: By offering kids a place to go before and after school when there is no one at home we are lowering the number of ‘latch-key kids’ in our schools. It has been proven that children who are left alone after school are more likely to try drugs and alcohol and get involved with crime. These programs give them a place to go that also happens to offer activities that encourage positive habits.
Zero Tolerance: The implementing of a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to weapons in schools, gang violence and more has significantly lowered the number of violent crimes taking place in schools. The schools that have a zero tolerance policy have shown a decrease in the number of weapons and drugs being brought onto school property as well as incidents of fighting, gang activity and more.
Extra Training for Teachers: By providing extra training for teachers and school staff on school violence and the potential warning signs we are making teachers and staff members better able to spot high-risk students before an incident of violence occurs. These days most teachers receive some type of training on crisis management and prevention and more.
Police or Security Patrols: Some high-risk schools now have a police officer or security guard on-site who does regular patrols and is visible to students. This has shown effective in deterring students from any type of violence or other crime on school property.
These are just a few of the things being done to help keep our schools safe for children and faculty members. School life sure isn’t what it used to be, but with some work and a positive outlook, maybe we’ll get things back to the way they used to be.