School workshop safety rules are a means of keeping children safe and healthy in a protected environment during the school day.
With each generation we learn about the prominent dangers facing children in our society. Special care must go into protecting our most valuable resources--our children--and striving to make their environment at school without danger.
Workshops to Promote Safety
Conducting a workshop to help parents, teachers, and students learn about and adhere to safety is valuable for everyone. Many schools have the rules of conduct, as well as the dress code, posted on signs in the hallways. However, implementing these rules is necessary or otherwise, what good is having a sign with the rules?
The truth is in today's American culture with disturbing headlines about school violence, gangs, drug usage, and bullying, we need more than rules that state no running in the hallways and no wearing short shorts. Helping children stay safe on the Internet is also a growing concern that needs to be addressed. Many parents aren't aware of the lure children can have to post provocative photos of themselves on web sites such as My Space.
Fire safety and drills are implemented in most schools, but how about some of the other concerns children face?
Preparing for the Workshop
Parent Teacher Associations could invite professionals to come to the meeting to speak on school safety. To make sure the meeting is well-attended, prior to the event, doing the following is necessary:
- At least six weeks in advance, advertising the date, time, and place of the meeting
- Conducting a survey, asking parents and students which issues they have concern about
- Explaining what the meeting will be about in a flyer or letter to parents
- Asking fire fighters, police, security officers, child psychologists, and other professionals to give short presentations at the meeting on designated topics
A well-balanced meeting with teachers, parents, and students present will be the most effective. Of course, depending on the school (elementary, middle or high) will determine what your topics will be. Elementary school kids are not as prone to drug usage or posting messages on Internet sites, and so those issues may not need to be discussed at a workshop involving younger children.
For a good turn-out with parents, holding the meeting in the evening around 7 PM will generate a larger gathering than holding it during the afternoon of a week-day when the majority won't be able to attend due to work obligations.
One format that works well is to have large tables that seat about eight to ten people. Each table needs a mixture of students, teachers, and parents, willing to discuss the proposed topics.Having a large flip-chart to write down the suggestions, concerns, or ideas presented at each table and designating a recorder to transcribe them is vital.
Also at each table, having a facilitator to keep the ball rolling and help participants to stay on track is critical. Additionally, give the facilitators guidelines in advance on conducting their table to help the evening run more smoothly.
Topics to Discuss at School Workshop Safety Rules
Topics to be discussed could include:
- Personal Internet Safety
- School Bus Bullying
- Fire Safety Monitoring
- Keeping Kids Away From Drugs
- Stopping Violence and Harassment
As you can see, some of these topics would take hours to discuss, so having a meeting to cover only one or two per night would work best. In the interest of time, make sure that the meeting's start and stop times are honored. If the meeting goes on long past the time it was expected to end, people may not want to attend any other meetings in the future.
Handouts could include articles or tips sheets on:
- Internet Safety
- The effects drugs have on grades and school performance
- Respecting Others
- Anger Management
Holding workshops at least two or three times a year will benefit everyone. Recruiting other members of the community to become involved in making our schools safer is also a bonus. After all, the safety of local schools should be priorities for not only parents, teachers and students, but for businesses, hospitals, and the local chamber of commerce as well. When we stress the need to create safe schools, children succeed both socially and academically, and in turn, the entire community succeeds.
Hopefully, your next school workshop safety rules event will be productive and will bring about the necessary improvements for your neighborhood school.