This week (Oct. 15-21) Is America’s Safe Schools Week. Whether you’re a parent, an educator or a guardian of students, please take some time to raise awareness for school safety by implementing some of the activities listed below. Advocating school safety is how we can help ensure the well-being of all children and the quality of their education.
Ideas and activities to promote safer schools:
- Coordinate school safety workshops that outline the relationship of school safety to quality education and emphasize the need for public support of schools. Educate employees about their specific safety responsibilities. Invite law enforcers, lawyers, judges, health and human services officials and probation officers to teach about the juvenile justice system and its relationship to effective schools.
- Encourage teachers to contact parents regularly to inform them about the good things students are doing. Develop a system to enable teachers to call or write parents routinely and conveniently. Provide space and time for teachers to meet regularly with parents at school and recommend teachers initiate these informal meetings as frequently as possible. Monitor the participation.
- Incorporate safety topics into the curriculum. For instance, social studies or civics classes can discuss Gallup’s annual poll of the public’s attitudes toward the public schools; physical education courses can include instruction on physical safety; chemistry classes can examine the negative effects of drugs on the human body; English classes can correlate literature study with essays on self-esteem, character-building or student misbehavior; and graphics classes can promote safer campuses by designing posters featuring effective safety messages.
- Develop a policy, form or box for suggestions to improve campus climate. Respond to all messages promptly and, when appropriate, personally thank the individual who offered the advice.
- Include retired school employees on the publication’s mailing list. These individuals often can be a school’s most vocal supporters and active volunteers.
The National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) invites you to participate in National SAVE Day! Mark your calendars for this important day, which is tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 18. Visit the website www.nationalsave.org to see how you can participate.