Rave blog Post

Talking to Your Kids About School Safety

School safety is a topic that is constantly on everyone’s mind. Between 2000 and 2018, the FBI recognized 42 active shooter incidents in kindergarten through 12th grade locations. The Center for Homeland Defense and Security noted 694 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2018 taking into consideration the number of times someone entered a K-12 campus with a weapon. Since 1970, CHDS counted more than 1,360 incidents. These staggering numbers have done little to settle both parent and student worries. 

When it comes to talking to kids about school safety, parents, teachers and administrators are often cautious not to reveal too much and upset students. However, K-12 students have real fears and worries about the safety of their school, and having open dialogue about school safety could help them feel more secure and prepare them in case there is ever something to worry about. 

4 Tips When Talking to Kids About School Safety

  1. Listen
    Children often have a reason for their fears. If they’ve fallen off a bicycle once, they may be more hesitant to give it another try. The same goes when it comes to school safety. Students have either heard about school shootings and other school safety threats on the news or even from their friends at school. Your child may have very specific fears when it comes to their safety at school, which is why it's extremely important for them to feel comfortable talking about it. Be sure to listen to any and all worries your kids may have. 

  2. Separate Fact from Fiction
    Kids will hear a variety of things around the subject of school safety. Whether from their friends, online, or elsewhere it is important to acknowledge they might not be getting all of the correct information. Making sure that your child has the facts and not rumors may settle some of their concerns. Knowing the right information and statistics can rationalize the situation at hand. School shootings are not as common as one might think, but they are common enough to cause fear and apprehension about going to school. Find the statistics and involve your child in looking up the factual information. 

    Related Blog: Best Practices for Running K-12 School Safety Drills
  3. Keep Discussions Age Appropriate
    Recognizing how much information your child should have is very important. Too much could overwhelm them and cause more worries than there were originally. Kids will tell their friends anything you tell them, so be sure to think about what your child really needs to know and stick with it. 

    • Elementary school: Children this age need the school safety discussion to be brief and simple. Balance it with reassurance that they will be okay.

    • Middle school: As they get older, children may have more specific questions. Help them find factual information and discern what is just rumors. Talk about what’s being done to provide a safe school environment.

    • High school:  High schoolers may have a lot of opinions about active shooter situations and what the causes of the situation are. They may also be get a lot of information online, which isn't always reliable. Determine what information is true, and talk to high school students about the facts. You should help students stay up to date on the latest safety measures and programs that the school participates in (it could be ALICE training, lockdown drills and more). 

  4. Explain School Safety Procedures
    No matter the age, it is important to talk about any safety measures the school may have. There are a lot of ways that schools prepare students for any type of situation. Whether it’s by having lockdown drills, metal detectors, school resource officers, or more, students should know what plans are in place to keep them safe. 

School’s should have a multi-faceted safety technology to be prepared for the worst and to put kids at ease. Simple safety apps can be lifesaving devices when necessary.

Panic Buttons allow for teachers, administrators and faculty to tap a button that alerts all relevant personnel and simultaneously dials 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. It reduces emergency response time and gets first responders to school faster.

Having a solidified plan and faster contact to all school staff and emergency responders not only puts teachers at ease, but also students. See if your school has the right technology to help ease some of your child’s worries. 

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Amelia Marceau
Amelia Marceau

Amelia is a marketing intern at Rave. She loves to write about anything safety related. When she’s away from the keyboard, you’ll either find her playing with her dog, ice skating, or competing in a triathlon. Amelia attends the University of Massachusetts Amherst, majoring in Political Science and Journalism.

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