School Safety for our children is a joint effort of Parents and School administration.
The recent episodes of violence against children have shooked the entire nation. Everyone is talking about the safety of children and measures to create a safe environment. Two out of three children in India are subjected to some form of abuse, as per this survey. Parents try their best to give a safe environment for children. However, are our children really safe in school? Many schools have upgraded child safety framework and included new parameters. But we cannot leave everything for the school. Keeping our children safe is everyone’s responsibility.
“School Safety” is creating safe environment for children, right from their homes to school and back. The framework of School Safety ranges to providing safety to children from any kind of harm. Mental, physical abuse, violence, natural or created disaster, transportation, etc.
Definition of School safety for children as per NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights). You can access the detailed report here.
Point to ponder – School safety changes
Recently daughter’s school has integrated few changes on various levels. As every new change brings some discomfort so did these. From transportation report checks to entry and exit level points, new norms and regulations implemented. The changes are in lieu of Government child safety guidelines, to keep children safe.
From the school’s perspective, this is a massive change. The entire transport infrastructure and support staff are verified under the purview of the legal system. We have new school buses as per regulations and verified attendants. Parents were well aware of the structural changes and requested to support the move.
However, parents were with school till it was on papers. Once the implementation began tempers raised high. Even the smallest of deviation raised and we all turned into devil’s advocate. Everyone started advocating ways and means to school authorities and voiced objections in whatever way possible. At the macro level, the change is to upgrade safety measure for our children at school. With the sudden rise in incidents related to child safety at school, it is everyone’s responsibility to protect children from any harm. But are we really helping authorities to create a safer environment for our children or negating their efforts?
Change is the only constant, and certain changes are for good. Parents play a major role in ensuring the safe environment for children.
Role of Parents in School Safety measures –
Know the law – The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012. The Act addresses sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children effectively. The government has recently drafted new changes to address mass appeal from citizens. As aware parents, we should know the laws and circumstances to take legal help if required.
Awareness about school safety environment –
School safety requires a paradigm shift from earlier comfort zones to cater new challenges. Many schools are implementing these changes, as a prerequisite from governing authorities. However, it is our responsibility to inquire about the safety measures at school.
Participate in school-parent meetings or forums. Every school has Parent-Teacher Association to discuss issues related to education, facilities, and administration. Parents should raise concerns through the correct channels, and help schools become a safer place for children.
Educate children about school safety protocols. Provide children a checklist to follow when in danger. They should know whom to reach for when in an emergency. Create a trust-based relationship with children and school authorities.
Creating a safe environment is everyone’s responsibility. School safety and parental awareness together bring a better change for our children.
This post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z series by Blogchatter, and my theme for this challenge is Gleeful Parenting.
PREVIOUSLY FROM THE SERIES –
Q for Questions.
R for Respectful Parenting.