School safety policies and procedures are set in place to make schools safer and to have a course of action to take in the event of unsafe situations. Students and staff, as well as parents, should understand policies and procedures that are meant to help schools maintain safety to be sure that they are able to follow them when needed.
Several safety policies need to be in effect for a school to be deemed safe for students. These include policies about being healthy or staying home, practicing safe walking instead of running in hallways, not having food or drink to choke on or spill during classes, and policies regarding heat or extreme cold on the playground. Other safety policies include rules against bullying and discrimination that lead to unsafe situations, policies regarding weapons in school and policies regarding sports competitions and practices meant to keep those safe.
Setting Policies and Consequences
Most school policies are set by school boards, superintendents and principals. However, they are set based on regulations set forth by the National Education Association and also by local, state and national governments. Most policies are set by a combination of people, working under the regulations that already govern schools.
Schools will usually set their own series of consequences for meeting or not meeting school safety policies. Some policies will have small consequences if students do not comply, such as time after school. Some policies, such as safety policies that prevent danger to other students, will have stricter consequences for those that do not follow them, such as suspension.
Safety procedures help keep students safe in unpredictable circumstances. They are procedures that should be followed in the event of a fire, a bomb scare, a terrorist attack, a weather emergency such as a tornado, hurricane, flood, wildfire or earthquake. Safety procedures also include procedures for students and staff to follow if their school is under attack from outside or from within, or if there is a threat of an attack.
Superintendents, school boards and principals set safety procedures by determining which types of safety threats might be possible at their schools. Then, they consult local, state and national governments for a general procedure to use during specific emergencies. After that, they create the procedures. Step-by-step instructions are written down and are posted in hand books, on walls and in places where they can be accessed during an emergency.
Each time a school sets a procedure that is designed to protect students and staff from unsafe situations, it should be practiced. Procedures need to be taught first to staff and teachers, so that they can be familiar with them. Then, students should be led through drills for each of the types of emergency procedures so that they can be prepared if the need should arise.