From the friendly greeting in the morning at drop-off or the cheerful goodbye at the end of the day, the staff at Hillsdale Christian Academy in Tampa not only cares about the physical but also the emotional well-being of each student and family. Emergency or crisis situations are traumatic for everyone involved, but children are the most vulnerable. They are naturally inquisitive, and many ask questions after hearing stories about the events at other schools.
How do I talk to my child about school safety?
An article from the American Academy of Pediatrics stresses the importance of talking to children about school safety. “For some children, even participation in a drill may cause some emotional distress, especially if it reminds them of a prior crisis event or if they otherwise are feeling vulnerable or anxious. As a parent, you are in the best position to help your child cope. Any conversation with a child must be developmentally appropriate.”
- Young children need brief simple information that should be balanced with reassurance. This includes informing children that their school and home are safe (once these are secure) and that adults are available to protect them. Young children often gauge how threatening or serious an event is by adult reactions. This is why, for example, parents are encouraged not to get overly emotional when saying goodbye on the first day of school. Young children respond well to basic assurance by adults and simple examples of school safety, like reminding them the exterior doors are locked.
- Upper elementary and early middle school children may be more vocal in asking questions about whether they are truly safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Parents can share the information they have about the school’s safety plan and any other relevant communication to ease their child’s mind.
- Upper middle school and high school students may have strong and varying opinions about causes of violence in school and society. Parents should stress the role that students have in maintaining safe schools by following the school’s safety guidelines (e.g., not providing building access to strangers, reporting strangers on campus, reporting threats to school safety made by students or community members, etc.).
If you are searching for a Christian school near Westchase, Citrus Park or Tampa with preschool, VPK or elementary grades, please call or stop in for a tour to see for yourself what sets HCA apart from all the others.
(2015, November, 21) School Safety During Emergencies. Retrieved from: www.healthychildren.org.