If you’re the parent of a school-aged child, you know how stressful sending your child to school can be. While you want your child to get a great education, you also want them to be safe. Make sure you consider potential safety issues that may come up when your child attends school. Here’s what you need to know.
Sometimes negligence can occur when you send your child to school. For example, a child could become injured during gym class and not be treated for their injuries. A child could fall and get hurt in the locker room. If a child has allergies, they may not receive their epi-pin in time to counteract a reaction. It’s important to understand what risks your child may face while at school. Ask if your child’s school has a nurse on duty and what their policies are for preventing and treating injuries. If your child is injured at school, FreeAdvice reminds “you will need to prove negligence by showing the school owed a duty of care to your child, that it breached the duty of care and that this breach was the actual and proximate cause of your child’s injuries.” Ultimately, the burden of proof will be on you.
Even when a school has an anti-bullying policy, bullying still occurs. Make sure you understand your child’s school’s policy on bullying and what constitutes bullying. Talk with your child about what to do if someone at school is mean to them and discuss ways they can handle this issue. It’s especially important to talk to kids about cyberbullying and harassment online because this is one of the most prevalent places where children are bullied. Connect Safely explains that when it comes to online bullying, it’s best to tell the person to stop, to save the evidence, and to reach out for help. Make sure your child knows at least those three principles.
Getting your kids to school has to be something you carefully consider. Many parents choose to let their students walk or take the bus, while others prefer to escort them to school and drop them off personally. Each method of transportation has its risks depending on many factors. Even transport by bus, which is generally considered very safe, has its risks; according to the Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, “nearly 130 school transportation-related fatalities occur every year. In addition, thousands more suffer very serious injuries.” Do research to determine what method of transportation is safest for your area.
While no one wants to think of their child being present during a school shooting, it is a real possibility. Talk with your child about school shootings and how they should respond if one occurs while they are at school. Make sure your child understands how serious such a scenario would be and the importance of abiding by any safety precautions the school takes to prevent shootings from happening. Stress the fact that the school will do all it can to protect them. PsychCentral also advises, “Do not go into specific details with young children, because it will often be more scary and less understood than those who are older and understand the importance or meaning of such details.”
Remember that there are alternatives to public school. If you find that your local public school may not be the best choice for your child, consider whether a private school, charter school, or even homeschooling might be a reasonable alternative for your family.
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