School & Student Safety
Parents and guardians can make school safety a part of everyday life in a non-threatening way. "what if" scenarios and role plays can assist you as you prepare and empower your child.
Care for the Caregiver: Tips for Families and Educators
~ Start with an "I love you" conversation. Tell your children how much you care and love them. Remind them that you are available to talk with them about anything at anytime.
~ Don't be afraid that practicing "what if" scenarios will scare your children. Just as we teach our children other safety tips like how to cross the street, to chew their food thoroughly and to wear a seat belt, we can teach them stranger safety tips to help them be safe.
~ Remind your child that the world if full of strangers. Many of them are wonderful and helpful people. A stranger is simply someone that they do not know.
~ Help your child to understand that some strangers are not good people and will try to hurt them. We can't tell if a stranger is good or bad by how they look.
~ Rehearse and role play your child's responses to "tricks" and dangerous situations.
~ The best practice prevention strategy is always supervision. Have others walk with your child. Keep in contact with them, and if you have questions or concerns contact your school counselor, administrator or school police.
~ Your child should not get close enough to a stranger for them to grab them. Practice safe distances.
~ GO through these scenarios with your child- Strangers that are dangerous to kids often try tricks to get children to go with them. They may tell them that a relative of theirs is hurt or in the hospital. They may tell them that they have lost a child, money or a pet. They may tell them that they will give the child money, candy, prizes or make them famous if they go with them. They may threaten or scare the child and order them to get into the car etc. They may pretend to be a person of authority. They also may pretend to know the child and say the child's name or reference one of their friends.
~ Tell your child to yell no, get away, and run to tell an adult they know and trust. They don't have to be nice to the stranger, they can kick bite and hit.. but the goal is to get away and tell someone.
~ Tell your child to trust that quiet voice inside them and that "uncomfortable" feeling they get in your stomach when something or someone just isn't safe.
Ten Important Back-to-School Safety Tips from www.ncmec.org
Teach your children to always TAKE A FRIEND with them when walking or biking, and stay with a group while standing at the bus stop. Make sure they know which bus to ride.
Walk the route to and from school with your children pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. Teach your children they should NEVER TAKE SHORTCUTS and always stay in well-lit areas.
It is not safe for young children to walk to and from school, even in a group. Parents should always provide supervision for young children to help ensure their safe arrival to and from school. If your children wait for a bus, wait with them or make arrangements for supervision at the bus stop.
Teach your children that if anyone bothers them, makes them feel scared or uncomfortable to trust their feelings and immediately get away from that person. Teach them it is ok not to be polite and IT IS OK TO SAY NO.
Teach your children if anyone tries to take them somewhere they should RESIST by kicking and screaming, try to run away and DRAW ATTENTION by kicking and screaming “This person is trying to take me away” or “This person is not my father/mother.”
Teach your children NOT TO ACCEPT A RIDE from anyone unless you have said it is ok in that instance. If anyone follows them in a vehicle they should turn around, go in the other direction, and run to a trusted adult who may help them.
Teach your children that grownups should NOT ASK CHILDREN FOR DIRECTIONS, they should ask other adults.
Teach your children to NEVER ACCEPT MONEY OR GIFTS from anyone unless you have told them it is ok to accept in each instance.
Make sure the school has current and accurate emergency contact information is on file for your children and confirm names of those authorized.
Always know where your children will be. Teach your children to always CHECK FIRST before changing their plans before or after school. Teach your children to never leave school, with anyone unless they CHECK FIRST with you or another trusted adult, even if someone tells them it is an emergency.
Let None Learn in Fear
The question facing school administrators is not if you are going to have a crisis, but when, and are you prepared?
- Nearly 3 million thefts and violent crimes occur on or near schools every day.
- Every day, ten Americans aged 19 and under are killed in gun accidents, suicides, and homicides.
- One in seven students are affected by bullying.
- About one in 12 students has stayed home from school because of fear of being hurt at school.
- One in 11 students reported being a crime victim at school.
- Fifteen percent of students reported gangs present at their school. Of these, 35 percent feared attack at school.
- In a 30-day period, one in five high school students carried a weapon, although not necessarily to school.
Teens continue to rank drugs as the single most important problem facing people their age. This is what they say:
- 51% of high school students see the school drug situation getting worse.
- 56% of 17-year-old students know a drug dealer at school.
- 84% of 12-year-olds would report a student using illegal drugs at school compared to only 31% of 16-year-olds.
- 80% of 12-year-olds would report a student selling illegal drugs compared to only 27% of 15 to 17-year-olds.
What Can Be Done
1. Have a policy regarding discipline and conduct.
2. Help to improve the student's self-image.
3. All students should know what's expected of them.
4. Set reasonable limits.
5. Monitor hallways, libraries, and quiet areas.
6. Do not allow the students or non-students to hand around school property.
7. Monitor and patrol parking lots before and after school.
8. Report to school security, non-students, suspicious individuals, or unusual activity on school property.
9. Challenge students to achieve goals.
10. Incorporate a violence prevention curriculum and/or peer mediation program.
11. Chaperone school functions.
12. Discuss policy with the students regarding the consequences of vandalism, hazing or bringing a weapon, cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs to school.
13. Make available to students training in personal safety techniques.
14. Provide a means for students to make anonymous reports about weapons, drugs, alcohol, vandalism, or theft.
Red Flag Kids
It is not always possible to predict behavior that will lead to student violence. Some of the warning signs that teachers, parents, and others should look for are:
- A student who withdraws from other students.
- A student who is a victim of violence, either at home or at school.
- A student who is picked on, left out, teased, or bullied.
- A student who expresses violence in writings and drawings.
- A student who displays frequent and intense anger in response to minor problems.
- A student with a history of impulsive and violent behavior such as bullying, defiance, and cruelty to animals.
- Students with intense prejudice toward other races, ethnicities, religions, languages, gender, sexual orientation, and/or physical appearance.
- Reduces self-control and exposes student to violence either as offender or victim.
- Students with easy access to firearms can have increased risk for violent behavior.
- Students who use specific threats of violence should be taken very seriously.
Washoe County School District School Police Student safety is our top priority. We are continually working to improve security at our schools and prepare students and staff for emergency situations. We are committed to keeping the public informed about what measures are in place to protect students.
Victims Services Unit Links
Safety Websites & Resources for you & your family:
Washoe County Emergency Preparedness Washoe County Online Training for Emergency Preparedness Washoe County Sheriff Child Protection ~ Abduction & Harm Prevention Tips Ready
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Ready ~ Community Emergency Response Team Ready ~ Kids Creating a Healthier Nevada