By Sheri Dennison
WASHINGTON — School safety is a growing concern, most recently with deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Schools and communities across the country are dealing with how to approach these tragic situations. Officials say becoming informed about risky behaviors and what to do with that information is key for students, parents, and teachers.
Since the 1999 Columbine shooting there have been at least 200 shootings on school campuses. Shooting drills are as commonplace as fire drills. Law enforcement and school officials are more intertwined than ever.
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) provides tools to promote school safety. It’s Our Be Safe and Sound in School program helps schools raise awareness about the elements of school safety and security.
Spokesmen say Be Safe and Sound in School is a comprehensive approach to school safety. It addresses problems by evaluating physical conditions such as lights, locks, alarms, and cameras, as well as cultural and social variables such as bullying, violence, and vandalism that may promote an unsafe environment.
There are seven steps to the program: Form an action team;Identify safety and security problem; Hold a school safety and security forum; Develop an action plan; Publicize your initiative; Advocate for your cause and Evaluate success and revise the plan.
“The safety of our children is vital. Unfortunately, every tragic shooting frightens students making it harder for them to learn.” NCPC President Ann Harkins said. “Be Safe and Sound engages communities in reducing the opportunities for tragedy to occur.”
The National Crime Prevention Council is the nation’s nonprofit leader in crime prevention. Since 1980, it’s icon McGruff the Crime Dog has delivered easy to use crime prevention tips that empower citizens individually and collectively to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime.
With a vast network of local and state law enforcement agencies, local community groups, foundations, and corporate partners, NCPC makes an impact on personal safety and crime every day. For more information on how to “Take A Bite Out of Crime,” visit ncpc.org. R.