Posted by: nancycurteman | September 5, 2015

How Safe is Your Child at School?

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41XWv6GB6EL._SX379_BO1,204,203,200_-1In my novel, “Lethal Lesson,” I deal with two important school-related topics. The first one describes how schools handle danger on campus. The second with how they deal with death. In my book I present both the procedural and emotional impact of the two types of occurrences. Having been an elementary school principal, I’ve had to deal with both kinds of incidents. Here is how I handled these events at my school.

Danger on campus refers to any kind of threat proposed by an individual or group. Since these threats are unpredictable and could happen at any time including in class or at recess, all students are provided with a code word for impending danger. This simple word is announced over an all-school loudspeaker. Upon hearing the word, every student knows to enter the nearest shelter including classrooms, office, cafeteria and staff rooms. Police are called and district administrators are informed. Within minutes all staff moves into “lockdown” mode. “Lockdown” is maintained until the principal announces the danger has passed. Parents are informed of the incident as soon as possible. “Lockdown” drills like earthquake drills, are practiced during the school year so children know exactly what to do.

The off campus death of a teacher, parent or student is one of the most painful events that can occur. In this case, the district office is alerted immediately. Counselors are sent to the school to comfort staff and students in need. The principal visits the classrooms that are most seriously affected and provides information, support and assurance that students are safe. Teachers provide opportunities for students to share their feelings about the deceased and write sympathy notes if they wish. Parents are informed of the death as soon as possible so they can help their children deal with anxieties.

In my novel, “Lethal Lesson,” the school has to deal with an angry, baseball-wielding parent and the murder of a teacher. The story provides realistic insight into how schools manage these kinds of incidents.

More Lysi Weston Mystery Novels:

Murder in a Teacup

Murder Casts a Spell

Murder Down Under

Murder on the Seine

 

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