The bottom line is if we are going to require young people to attend school then it is our goal to provide them with a safe, secure and welcoming environment.
Southlake, TX (PRWEB) March 07, 2013
In light of recent attacks such as the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and the escape of a prisoner in Grapevine, The Clariden School of Southlake, Texas is among the safest places for our young people to be. Students are 99 times more likely to be victimized in the community - on the streets, at the mall, at movie theaters, in fast food restaurants and other public places - rather than at school.
The Clariden School continuously controls campus access. Entry to the school and grounds is limited and supervised and both pedestrian and vehicle traffic flows through areas that are easily viewed. At the front desk are monitors that continuously film the parking lot, building entrances and the playground, with recordings available for viewing.
Every door to the school is locked and front entrances require a remote unlocking by front desk personnel. The doors are also furnished with intercoms so unfamiliar service personnel and anyone seeking access to the school is verified prior to unlocking.
Clariden enforces sign-in/sign-out procedures for volunteers and service and delivery personnel, including a log of dates and times, full names of service personnel, and the reason for the visit. Everyone is identified prior to being given a visitor’s pass.
The entire 23-acre campus has perimeter fencing. Access to utilities, roofs, and cleaning closets is secured and emergency bags containing first aid kits and water are supplied to every classroom.
Clariden uses both campus intercoms and two-way radios during dismissal to verify all adults picking up students. School officials and teachers have the use of personal cell phones as, according to Head of School Jenifer Fox, it is important for school personnel to be able to communicate with law enforcement and outside telephone providers.
Ms. Fox has challenged staff to, “be observant of the things transpiring on campus. During recent periods of high alert, an additional level of vigilance was in place.”
“It is important to have a uniform screening policy for all visitors, including vendors and service personnel. All visitors are required to sign in at the school office, state their specific business and wear a visitor's badge. Only those who have a legitimate purpose are allowed onto campus grounds,” said Fox.
The school regularly conducts emergency drills for evacuation, lock-down and severe weather so staff and students are familiar with appropriate response in an actual emergency.
This past fall the school required training for all members of the school community regarding cultural awareness and sensitivity. Ms. Fox feels it is important to consider the impact of cultural influences on a school community's ability to create and maintain a safe, secure, and peaceful school.
Ms. Fox feels creating safe schools is a joint responsibility involving students, parents, teachers, school officials, local law enforcement, emergency personnel, and a variety of other youth-serving professionals.
“The bottom line is if we are going to require young people to attend school then it is our goal to provide them with a safe, secure and welcoming environment,” said Ms. Fox.