Spotlight on Student Safety
According to WOAI.com, nearly 160,000 children in Texas miss school each year because they are scared of being bullied. For those students, school is not their first priority, safety is. In an effort to help these students get back to the classroom, PublicSchoolWORKS created the Student Bullying Reporting System.
This system, which is part of the award-winning StudentWatch Suite, provides 24/7 online and telephone systems allowing students and parents to report bullying incidents. It addresses state mandates to provide tools for initiating, documenting and recording district and school responses to each reported concern.
With the system’s built-in communication tools, school administrators are notified immediately, thus making schools more responsive and administrators have the data needed to enhance and improve student safety programs and meet regularity mandates. With StudentWatch, administrators are no longer responsible for tracking and managing student bullying reports and they will see a reduction of no less than 50% of the time necessary to manage student bullying programs.
NEW PROGRAMS FOR
In 2010, just three years into using PublicSchoolWORKS’ award-winning automated safety management system EmployeeSafe Suite, Chinook’s Edge School Division No. 73 earned its first Certification of Recognition (COR) for its outstanding commitment to workplace safety. For an employer in Alberta to receive a COR, they must develop, implement and sustain a health and safety program that meets rigorous standards put forth by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). Chinook’s Edge School Division is one of only five of Alberta’s 78 school divisions to have achieved this level of safety.
EmployeeSafe Suite was the platform used to manage the safety program and to generate the documentation needed to provide evidence that training, incident management steps, and safety tasks were completed. Receiving the COR will result in a 20 percent reduction in WCB premiums – a savings of approximately $43,000 per year. Additionally, these improvements resulted in fewer injury costs – claims in 2003 totaled nearly $250,000, now they are approximately $20,000 – putting Chinook’s Edge 51.69 percent below the industry average for WCB claims.
Guns in Schools
Each morning as students walk through the doors of their schools, many are greeted by police officers. Depending on the school, students may be subject to having their bags searched, asked to walk through metal detectors, or scanned with metal detecting guns.
According to reports, Gardena High School was in violation of district policy by not performing daily random searches of students with a metal detecting wand. One 17-year-old male student was able to bypass his school’s safety procedures and bring an automatic handgun into school in his backpack. When he sat his backpack on the desk, the gun accidentally fired one shot, hitting two students. He then fled the classroom, prompting a police search and school lockdown.
At a closed-door meeting held later that week, parents noted that this was not the first time a gun had been brought to the school and that children are afraid of gangs in the area. In 2002, two students were seriously injured in another shooting at the school when three students demanded money from them. The three students were later sentenced to jail time.
How can a school ensure that there are no violations in the school’s safety procedures? What can a school do to work with its community in order to make the neighborhood a safer place for students?
Share your answers to these questions by joining the discussion on Facebook.
Source: CNN.com January 21, 2011
School Safety Policies
School safety policies are in place for a reason and may include anything from continuing safety education courses for employees to having a buddy system for students walking in the hallways. Without school safety policies, issues may occur that leave an employee or school liable.
At Vaca Pena Middle School in California, one teacher found herself in a dilemma with a 13-year-old student during an in-school suspension class. After being threatened by the student, the teacher tried phoning the principal’s office. Not able to reach anyone, she ran into the hallway looking for help. She returned to the classroom and was tripped by the student, causing her to break an arm and dislocating a shoulder. When the teacher finally got help, instead of calling for an ambulance the employees handed her a phone to speak with a representative from workers compensation. After the call, another teacher drove her to the hospital where she underwent emergency surgery.
With school safety policies in place and proper training from PublicSchoolWORKS, this Vaca Pena Middle School teacher could have received better care. Has your school or district ever been in a similar situation? Share your stories with us on Twitter @PSWORKS.