When you send your child to school in the morning, you do so with the assumption that they will be kept safe. While you can’t sit with your child in class every day, it doesn’t meant that their safety is completely out of your control.
Natural disasters and school shootings may weigh heavily on your mind as you watch your child board the bus or walk through the front doors of their building. Continue reading to discover more about how you can help prepare for your child’s safety at school. These tips can help you help your child.
You are well within your rights to ask the school about their emergency preparedness plans. Understand that there are some plans your child’s school may not share with you out of the interest of safety, but ask for the information they are willing to share.
Ask how often your child will be taking part in safety drills. Find out about the safety procedures that will be discussed with the students.
There are federal guidelines that provide emergency operation plans for schools across the country. Your child may speak with you about drills and lessons when they come home.
Knowing the terms can help you speak to your children and delve deeper into the conversation.
Schools do not involve “outsiders,” including parents, in drills for safety reasons. That doesn’t mean, however, that there is nothing you can do. At the beginning of the school year, be sure to talk with your children about the school’s safety plans and ask questions.
Review the correct positions for hurricane and tornado drills at home. Ask your children how they are supposed to behave during a fire drill. Talk to your children about lockdowns in an age-appropriate way and why they may be necessary.
Make sure that you fill out any emergency contact paperwork the school sends home. If your child has unique needs, ask the school if you can supply extra medication in case of an extended emergency, and always keep contact information up to date. Find out about the school’s relocation plans and how you will be expected to respond if there is an actual emergency.
Understand that any kind of a drill may frighten children or cause distress. You can help your child cope with these drills and actual emergencies by speaking with them. Young children should know that schools are normally safe when they are kept secure and that the school is only conducting drills to keep them out of harm’s way. Basic reassurance can help young children.
Kids in upper elementary and middle school grades will typically have more questions when it comes to safety at school and natural disasters. Help them by separating fact from fiction. Have a conversation with your child based on their level of maturity and provide real information.
If you have children in the upper grades, you can typically have very frank conversations with them. Help them understand their responsibility in the school’s safety plan and, again, provide them with factual information.
If an actual emergency does occur, know that your child may suffer with emotional issues in its aftermath. Some children may be able to overcome these issues by talking with their parents or other trusted adults.
Some children may need professional assistance to deal with their emotions. Don’t hesitate to get your children the help they need.
While natural disasters and other emergencies are out of the hands of school administrators, it doesn’t mean you don’t have rights as a parent if your child is injured at school. If this happens you need a Port St. Lucie injury lawyer to fight for your rights.
At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, our team is here for you 24/7 and your first consultation will be held at no cost to you. Call our office for immediate assistance.