By NYMetroParents Staff

Back to School Safety Tips

August 22, 2013   |  Education Advice & Tips  

James Stewart, adjunct professor for Kaplan University’s School of Public Service is an expert in school safety and the psychological aspects of school violence. He recommends parents follow these simple steps with their children to keep them safe and prepared throughout the school year.

1. Talk about the possibility of school violence. Just as you would discuss the importance of being prepared for a fire, storm or tornado at school, you should have an open and honest talk with your child about the possibility of an act of school violence. When discussions about responding to school violence take place, it builds both muscle and psychological memory, and will allow for a decreased level of chaos, and smarter and safer reactions, should your child be caught in an act of school violence.  
2. Know your school’s emergency response plan. Both you and your child should be knowledgeable of the school’s plan for responding to and dealing with an emergency situation. In the event that a violent situation should occur in the classroom or on campus, your child should know what to do and be mentally prepared to act and respond under chaotic circumstances.
3. Keep the lines of communication open. Get into a routine of setting aside a few minutes every day after school to discuss with your child how their day went. It’s an opportunity for your child to open up and share anything curious they may have seen or heard that day, and for you to ask the necessary safety questions.
4. Be observant. Keeping schools safe is a team effort. In addition to school security guards and staff, it’s crucial that your child always remain vigilant and keep an eye out for someone or something that looks out of place and doesn’t belong.

5. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Your child should be encouraged to always speak up when they sense or know something is wrong. They should feel comfortable approaching a teacher, school faculty member or you as soon as they see or hear something out of the ordinary.

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