Violence can happen anywhere. While schools are overwhelmingly safe and nurturing places for students, we have taken additional steps in Clear Creek Amana to provide as many safeguards as we can to keep our schools safe learning environments for all. CCA is using a combination of strategies to support school safety; some of the plans and precautions we have in place are highlighted below.
- Our school district and each school building have school safety and emergency response plans in place. These plans were developed with input from the Critical Incident Response Team at Grant Wood AEA and community agencies such as law enforcement, public health and safety.
- Safety plans, protocols, and warning signs have been recently reviewed with school staff.
- We will continue with our strategies to help students feel connected to school, to their teachers and to each other.
- We will continue to ask that all adults volunteering in our schools complete the orientation and screening program.
- Adults in our schools are asked to either wear staff identification badges or a visitor name badge.
- Schools will have limited entry points and we will conduct periodic emergency response drills.
As parents, you, too, can play a critical role in maintaining a safe learning environment at school. Six suggestions from The Center for the Prevention of School Violence include the following:
- Know your children. This means being aware of your child’s typical behavior patterns so that you can recognize when behaviors change. This allows for identification of warning signs.
- Explain to your children what the facts are about school safety. Be prepared to talk with your children about the steps our schools are taking to promote safety.
- Explain the odds. The chances of being killed in schools are less than one in a million according to the US Department of Education. It is important to explain to children that schools are typically safe environments.
- Explain that everyone has a responsibility for making schools safe -- even children.Everyone should take responsibility. If a child sees inappropriate behavior or hears about the possibility that such behavior might happen (e.g., hears that someone is going to bring a gun to school), the child has a responsibility to tell an adult at school or the parent him/herself.
- Explain that violence is not an acceptable solution to problems the children may be experiencing. Parents need to explicitly address this because of the many messages that children are exposed to from various components of society which communicate that violence may be an appropriate response. It is important that parents articulate that violence is wrong.
- Demonstrate that you are ready to listen. Parents should ask questions about how their children are feeling about the safety of their schools, and they should ask their children about behaviors (e.g., are there places at school they avoid because they don't feel safe?). When asking the questions, it is then important that parents actively listen to the answers. If concerns are raised, parents need to follow up with the schools and keep their children informed about what is being done.