School – A home away from home. This is what every parent thinks and believes before getting their child admitted to the school. They feel schools are the safest place where the students are safer here than in any other place except their homes. But it is no longer the same scenario anymore. With the increasing violence in the schools where the students are sexually abused, harassed and even attacked, killed for resisting the heinous acts, it looks like the school safety and security has been compromised. The incidents that scroll down in the news every now and then make it obvious that the students are in danger while at school as well.
There is a dire need to analyze and improve the school safety and security procedures. Nevertheless, it is also the responsibility of parents to educate their children on to make out the difference between a good touch and a bad touch, how to react or respond in a smarter way in case of a threat and how to oppose or stand against things when faced by their fellow mates. However, it’s the sheer responsibility of the school management to make sure every student is closely monitored within and outside the class and across the school campus.
Here are the basic ways a school should be accustomed to ensure and enhance the safety.
Every school, every class, and corner of the school should be under the vigilance of CCTV cameras. The schools should have CCTV cameras installed in corridors, classrooms, playgrounds and be continuously monitored. Placing cameras at prominent places throughout the school maximizes school safety.
2) Buses with GPS facility
All the buses should be equipped with GPS facility making it very feasible for parents and school management alike to track the students traveling in the bus. The buses should also have CCTV cameras installed to assure the double safety of students while traveling. Transport attendance of every single student availing the transport service while boarding on and off the bus is highly suggested.
3) Staff Verification
It is recommended that the school management conducts a verification of all staff especially the non-teaching staff (attendants, peon, driver, conductor etc.) before hiring them either on permanent or temporary or contract basis.
4) Attendants at Washrooms
Considering the recent incidents and the impact it had left on all parents, the school management was sought serious measures to have attendants in toilets for the safety of children. Also, it is recommended there must be separate washrooms for students and staff.
5) Monitor Visitors Carefully
Schools should become more assertive in screening visitors, by employing security personnel who will register the visitors when entering the building or campus. The child should be allowed to leave the campus only when an authorized adult comes to pick the child up. Staff and students should be instructed to report people without proper identification. In any case, where people other than parents come to pick up a child, school administration should ask the parents to give the names of the adults who are further required to show identification to the school personnel while picking the student at the school.
6) RFID Tags
RFID Tags to student identity cards detect and register the presence of students automatically every time they pass through the gate. The RFID devices can be fixed at the library, cafeteria, auditoriums etc., to mark the presence of students wherever they are within the school premises.
7) Regular Workshops
Train your staff to be vigilant in spotting events before they happen. Conduct regular workshops to sensitize students, parents and teachers. Also, hold regular sensitizing sessions with non-academic staff such as drivers, cleaners and attendants.
8) Preventive Measures
Take preventive measures from unwanted incidents taking place. Make all teachers from every class responsible for the safety of the children in the school. Keep empty or unused rooms under lock and key at all times and make sure that no child is ever alone with any male staff.
Adapting necessary safety measures keep children safe making the schools’ safe havens for learning and further not disrupting the educational process.