School Safety Tips You Need To Know
As teachers start to memorize names and students remember what classroom homeroom is in, one thing that must also be remembered is school safety. Educators, administrators and other faculty members who work in schools not only teach students about the world but have to protect them from some of its most unpredictable situations as well. As you head back to school this fall, don’t forget these 8 school safety tips to make your students’ learning environments as safe as possible.
- Implement an ID Badge Policy
Positive identification badges for administrators, staff, visitors and even students can help foster not only a safer environment but a friendlier environment as well. The first thing you can do to improve school safety is to ensure ID badges are easily-identifiable. It is also important to implement a protocol for how to handle unidentified individuals within the school.
- Set Clear Rules & Limits for Students on Violence
Ensure your students know from day one what constitutes unacceptable behavior in regards to violence. Outline that pushing, shoving and even threats count as violence and will be dealt with according to your school’s rules. School-wide assemblies once per marking period are also a good way to keep rules and limits clear for students.
- Bully-Proof Your Classroom
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In recent years, focus has shifted from physical violence to verbal violence and bullying. Bullying is a crisis affecting schools throughout the U.S. and it is important as educators to say “no” to bullying from day one. Take a proactive approach against bullying by engaging students in team-building activities, responding instantly to hurtful behavior and involving principals and parents when appropriate.
- Keep Your Classroom Organized
Another way to improve school safety is to keep your classroom, hallways and other school areas organized and free of hazards. Check that classroom tools and objects are easily accessible for students and not on top of high cabinets or shelves. That way, you eliminate any chance of a student falling while trying to reach an object.
- Raise Fire Safety Awareness
While fire drills can seem repetitive at times, practicing them seriously can be the difference between safety and danger in the event of a fire emergency. Besides running fire drills in accordance with your state’s requirements, include fire safety awareness refreshers every month or so in the classroom. Go over the escape route(s), extinguisher locations and fire safety tips like staying low when there is smoke.
- Plan for Severe Weather
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Tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms and floods affect schools every year so it’s important for all schools to be prepared. Keep an eye on the latest weather developments or utilize a team of meteorologists to help make weather-related decisions. Don’t forget to protect your students and student-athletes from deadly lightning strikes with a lightning alerting system.
- Develop Resources for Depressed or Stressed Students
Many instances of violence in schools involve students who previously have shown signs of depression or other stress. Make counseling services readily available for students and know when a student should be referred for emotional and/or mental help. The U.S. Department of Health Services has an extensive resource center for educators regarding student mental health.
- Maintain Locks on Doors and Windows
In the unfortunate event of a school emergency requiring a lockdown, properly working locks are of the utmost importance. Regularly check classroom locks and report any faulty equipment to school maintenance crews for immediate repair.
While these tips are great for improvements, they certainly do not cover every area of school safety. Therefore, if you have any other school safety tips to share with fellow educators, please include them in the comment section below!
If you’re ready to up both weather safety and learning at your school this year, you should really give WeatherSTEM a try. Want to see STEM education in action? Get more information on WeatherSTEM today and see how easy it is to integrate meteorology into your curriculum.