"Thank you for sharing the wonderful tips about searching a right high
school, especially the safety topic. I totally agree 'if a child is not
safe from violence, bullying sexual harassment and fear -- even if
everything else is perfect -- brilliant teachers and a gorgeous campus
just can't balance it out.' Overall, the principal is the key person to
handle them all..... some don't deal with the problems and let them grow
out of control. I experienced an coop school, even it has high score on
most every thing, but the bullying and sexual harassment are the critical
issue. Of course, I pulled out my child. Shame on the principle, she
denies every bad thing has happened."
Great article on school safety. I am going to follow your advice.
"I wrote to my daughters school regarding safety issues, which I believe
require attention. Several months on and still no visual improvements were
made. I then met with the Head Master and put my concerns forward. Again a
few weeks passed and still nothing has been done to improve current
security, hygiene and other child safety issues. What should I do next?"
"I can get statistics on what's been referred to law enforcement, but I get
the impression that most incidents are not reported and therefore, don't
show up in the statistics. I don't feel like I get a true picture. Most
other parents don't know any more than we do. The one's that work there,
won't give us the real scoop because they don't want to be known for
talking bad about the schoo. How can a parent really know what's going
"The safety and security of school children will from time to time be
questioned; however, the biggest issue remains how school administrations
handle reported incidents and/or address parentsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ concerns. My personal
experience has been of school administrations tepid response to an incident
and not moving aggressively enough to assuage a concerned parent."
"Statistics will not tell you much. I had to leave a school where the
principal said all the right things, but refused to deal with a bully. My
son tried to stay home on a daily basis. When I complained, the principal
first tried to blame my son and then reached out to my husband, and made
it sound like I had a problem because I was 'the only one complaining.'
As I later found out by talking to other moms, this was far from the
truth. In the end, we switched schools, and are now very happy. My son
loves his new school and we have had no problems. I was one of those
people that did all the research and all it showed me was that the school
was one of the best in the state, with no discipline problems. So my
advice: Do the research and then listen to your child - if he is telling
you there is something wrong make sure you investigate you may find out
the place is not safe. "
"I pulled my son out of a charter school that we loved (with pretty gardens
and the promise of a nurturing environment)because he felt unsafe due to
being physically harrassed by older bullies, a teacher that was sort of a
bully herself,and an administration that chose to ignore it all due to a
lack of resourses to fix it; and wild dogs running around the grounds (who
also attacked and killed 20 chickens. Now my son is happy and feels very
safe at a local public school."
"When selecting a school for your child ask about the bullying policy,
other educational programs to address violence, gangs, etc. Understanding
the school's disciplinary policy is important, but it's more important to
look for a proactive policy than a reactive one. "
"Agree wholeheartedly with this article. When your kindergartener is
begging you not to leave him in after school, perhaps it is time to find
out what is going on. When the kids come home with bruises, don't let it
slide. When one of the teachers gets hit in the cross-walk, stop letting
the principal brush off your requests for a crossing guard or drop off
lane by the school. "
"When I spoke to the Superintendent about concerns I had in regard to the
school district my son attends, not five hours later my husband was asked
what my problem was. [?] Despite knowing and echoing my concerns, as a
retired educator, he found my espression of them to be personally
humiliating. This has caused tension at home, as well as between the
teachers and myself. They continue to ask me if things,
'meet[my]expectations and concerns.' Can you suggest a better way that
the direct path I took?
"Just because a school has a higher expulsion rate doesn't mean it is a bad
or unsafe school. It could mean just the opposite; it is a very safe
school because the administration doesn't put up with any students who
willfully disrupt the flow of learning. Weak administrators are far more
dangerous in the school than kids, or teachers. I would look for very
strong leadership, that would be a better indicator of what will or will
not work in a building. Be very careful about going to district personnel,
they are there as much to put forth the good news right or wrong than fix
problems. Parents and kids are as good an indicator as all these reports
you suggest. Just walking the halls and being a little bit involved will
give your gut the feeling you need as well as good feedback from those in
the know. If you consistently hear positive messages coming from kids,
parents and teachers and those are in the majority that can be a bonus
when deciding the strengths and weaknesse!
s of a building"
"One of the biggest threats to the safety of our children in some schools
stems from the fact that in 20 of our 50 states, teachers are still
allowed to use corporal punishment on students. In checking out the safety
of any given school or district, a parent should take great caution in
enrolling his or her child in such a toxic environment. When licensed
professionals model violence, you can only imagine what the school climate
is like for these children."
"I have researched and investigated school 'safety' for more than 30 yrs.
This article misses the point. While violence, bullying, and shootings
capture media attention, they are rare events. So-called accidents such as
falls, sports injuries, pedestrian-vehicle mishaps, etc. are more common.
The best 'test' of a school is to see if the principal actual ensures
teacher vigilance by monitoring their conduct and sanctioning lapses.
Leadership (or its) lack at the principal level is always determinative.
Schools are rarely proactive in accident prevent."