Family Safety Guide

Families can help to create safe schools. Please see the following guidelines that families in other communities have developed.

  • Keep lines of communication open with your child. Encourage your child to always let you know where and with whom he or she will be. Get to know your child's friends.

  • Discuss the school's discipline policy with your child. Show your support for the rules, and help your child understand the reasons for them.

  • Involve your child in setting rules for proper behavior at home and school.

  • Help your child understand the importance of following directions during any type of incident at school.

  • Talk with your child about the violence he or she sees - on television, in video games, on the internet, and in the neighborhood. Help your child understand the consequences of violence.
  • Teach your children how to solve problems; praise them when they follow through.

  • Help your child find ways to show anger that do not involve verbally or physically hurting others. When you get angry, use it as an opportunity to model these appropriate responses for your child and talk about it.

  • Help your child understand the value of accepting individual differences.

  • Note any disturbing behaviors in your child. For example, frequent angry outbursts, excessive fighting and bullying, cruelty to animals, fire setting, frequent behavior problems at school and in the neighborhood, lack of friends, and alcohol or drug use can be signs of serious problems. Get help for your child. Talk with a trusted professional in your child's school or in the community.

  • Listen to your child if he or she shares concerns about friends who may be exhibiting troubling behaviors. Share this information with a trusted professional, such as a school psychologist, principal, or teacher.

  • Monitor your children's internet use, including social media sites. Ask them what they do online and which websites they visit. Put parental controls on inappropriate websites and access to social media sites.

  • Be involved in your child's school life by supporting and reviewing homework, talking with his or her teachers, and attending school functions.

  • Work with your child's school to make it more responsive to all students and to all families. Share your ideas about how to encourage family involvement, welcome families, and include them in meaningful ways in their children's education.

  • Volunteer to work with school-based and community groups concerned with violence preventions.
  • Talk with the parents of your child's friends. Discuss how you can form a team to ensure your children's safety.

  • Find out if your employer offers provisions for parents to participate in school activities.

Source: Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide for Safe Schools

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