“We take our students safety very seriously, and after the shooting that happened in Parkland, we must choose to pay particular attention to the review of our safety policies and drills, and encourage all schools to do the same,” said Head of School, Paul Garcia.
The heat of the moment is not the time to decide how to react to a potentially dangerous situation. Senses are heightened, emotions are running wild, and reaction times can mean the difference between saving a life or ending one. That is why it is so important for schools to have prearranged plans in the event that they should ever need to respond to a threat.
All schools should absolutely have a safety manual, a safety team consisting of teachers and coaches on the front lines who implement instructions from the manual and should regularly practice safety drills with students. Safety drills should include information about safe locations off campus, and how to get to them if needed. These steps are all necessary to avoid injury during emergency situations, but the anticipation of an emergency will go even further in preventing causeless harm. This means that security cameras should not only be spread out across the entire campus, but should also be regularly monitored for suspicious looking persons. Of course, all adults visiting campus should check in to the office and receive a nametag, and it should be established that those found wandering campus without a tag are to be pointed out to an administrator.
Seeking out professional advice is also extremely valuable, which means that semiannual, or even quarterly training with a law enforcement officer should be implemented for teachers and faculty. This knowledge will not only further their safety skills, but will also enhance their confidence should a true safety issue ever arise. Lastly, in the event of an emergency that requires immediate communication with the parents of students, there should be a schoolwide alert system that enables parents and guardians to be contacted instantly.
There is no feeling worse than having to send our children off to school, not knowing if they will come home safely; that’s why choosing a school that implements all of these safety precautions is so important for peace of mind.
St. Barnabas Episcopal School is a pre-K thru 8th grade private institution in DeLand, Fla. Its mission is empowering each student to achieve academic and moral excellence in a faith-filled environment based on God’s Word. For more information, visit https://www.sbesyes.org/.