***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***
Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.
BLOG POST #198: This week, because a new school year will soon begin (if yours hasn’t already), I’m sharing information on school safety.
With the new school year upon us, there has been a lot of talk on the news about bulletproof backpacks or ballistic backpacks. They also have inserts to make the pack even more impenetrable.
Some schools and businesses are installing emergency response shields near the fire extinguishers and AEDs (Defibrillators). The shields are smaller but similar to what you see law enforcement holding in front as they approach a scene when gunfire is occurring. There are also inserts that can be added to backpacks.
Until schools are safe, protecting your child with bulletproof, bullet-resistant gear may be the way you want to go. If so, be sure to do your homework, so you don’t purchase something with inferior effectiveness that gives you and your child a false sense of security.
I’m not an affiliate, but one company I’d recommend is Hardwire LLC. They’ve been making products for the military and law enforcement for 20 years—and have added products for schools and students. They’re currently running a Back-to-School sale on backpack inserts.
Conversations With The Kiddos
Internet access has provided children with news they previously might not have known about. Parents must assume their child has heard about school shootings. Here’s an excellent resource: The National Education Association asked the National Association of School Psychologists for advice on How To Talk To Students about school shootings and other traumatic events.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has an Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence available for free. In the introduction, they wrote, “When establishing threat assessment capabilities within K-12 school, keep in mind that “there is no profile of a student attacker.” I feel certain parents of school shooters would say they had no idea their child could kill. Although I found the guide to be another excellent resource, talk is cheap. Schools must “walk-the-talk” and DO what their policies say they’ll do. Does your child’s school have a Threat Assessment Team?
Tips For Parents
Lastly, I recently published an article on Back to School Tips for Parents. Easy things you can do to help your child survive the turbulent school years.
Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.
Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.
Wishing you and your students a happy school year. Stay vigilant!
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National Education Association
National Association of School Psychologists
U.S. Department of Homeland Security