Back-to-school: How safety at school is being put into practice
It seems across the United States this fall, every school has on their mind what improvements to can be made to impact students’ lives and create a sense of community in education when looking at student safety. Whether schools are using technology, additional staff, law enforcement, or training programs to address safety at school, states are collectively taking a national responsibility for safer education and putting what they’ve learned to good use. Let’s have a look at what some of the individual states are doing to support student safety.
Last year, we commended the state of Texas on moving forward with the passage of several bills into law that target comprehensive school safety reform. These bills put measures in place from school hardening to emotional behavioral support services to prioritize student safety this September. Over the summer, districts and schools have been training personnel in preparation of how to handle an array of incidents affecting safety at school including course materials on gang awareness, child exploitation and suicide prevention.
Texas isn’t the only state though that is making changes towards safety at school this year. Philadelphia school districts, where our team had a successful summer at ISTE, has brought on 650 new teachers and counselors to enhance student safety outreach. These new members of staff are undergoing additional training in the aftermath of the tragedies in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. One of the topics for these new team members is trauma informed care which recognizes that everyone will suffer from trauma at some point in their lives, where their past experiences inform their current behavior. Trauma informed care along with mental health awareness and social emotional learning is giving schools the tools they need to make interventions and offer services where a student’s needs previously were more difficult to identify.
In Florida, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety commission, created after one of the deadliest acts of targeted school violence in US history, is reviewing schools that are not complying with new school safety laws. Florida schools are now required to have armed school resource officers on every school campus, routine active shooter drills, with districts additionally investing in new security systems and secure entryways to increase safety at school. These new student safety laws reflect the state’s review of what can be done to improve educational facilities.
On the West Coast in Oregon, similar student safety policies are being put into effect. The presence of school resource offers, additional security cameras, and advanced alert systems are all contributing to a safer environment for children to focus on their education. Talking about situational awareness and the implementation of a threat assessment team elevates knowledge among students and staff to look for indicators that might precede a threat to everyone’s safety at school.
Supporting safety at school with Impero EdProtect and Impero EdAware
Impero has over twenty years of experience dedicated to strengthening support systems within schools to create a safer learning environment on and offline. Impero EdProtect and Impero EdAware allows staff from IT administrators to counselors and psychologists to proactively work together to ensure student safety is a first priority when a concern is raised. Our tools work to indicate risk and what interventions can be made to give children the best support possible. Learn more about these tools by booking a demonstration.