Wednesday, September 5, 2007

School Safety

Today was our second day of staff meetings and workshops before school opens to students tomorrow morning. We spent our time preparing for events which we hope will never occur.

Michael Dorn, of Safe Havens International, gave an informative, sometimes impassioned and emotional, presentation on school safety. Staff members from two local school districts learned about monitoring students, creating a climate of respect, dealing with irate people, and other key safety practices. We were given concrete examples of how to assess warning signs to determine whether a situation was still in early stages or posed an imminent danger. Consistent behavior codes, firm but reasonable consequences, building security and visitor sign-in procedures were also reviewed.
The culminating session, entitled "Weakfish - Bullying Through the Eyes of a Child", left us horrified, shocked into silence. Bullying is something which does occur, every day, in every school. By creating a school environment not conducive to bullying, by assessing, supervising and intervening, teachers, administrators, and other staff members can "dramatically impact bullied children".

School should be a safe place. A child who is afraid cannot learn.

"Gun-Free" by Shilashon

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