On August 28, Fairfax County Public School students will walk into safer school buildings, with greater mental health enhancements, thanks to a $4 million security initiative adopted by the School Board.
School security is everyone’s responsibility. We all have a role to play, especially parents. Fairfax County Council PTA urges parents to get involved in their children’s schools and build a culture of looking out for each other. Here are five steps that parents can take:
- Talk with Your Children. Provide a safe environment for kids to ask questions and openly express their worries and concerns
- Recognize Warning Signs. Even small changes in behavior can give you an early warning that something is troubling your child
- Know When to Intervene. If you see children exhibiting behavior or attitudes that could potentially harm themselves or others, talk to their parents, or if it’s your child, do something to stop it
- Stay Involved. Be aware of your kid’s school work loads and grades. Be informed about existing emergency plans and procedures, and get to know their friends.
- Watch “Helping Your Kids Cope with Trauma.” During this webinar by National PTA and the American Psychological Association, families can learn how to address when traumatic events happen to kids and when kids witness traumatic events through the media, how to talk to kids openly and directly when traumatic things occur, and how to know when they might need more help than you can give them.
Students deserve a safe environment in which to learn and grow. For more information about what parents can do, see National PTA’s Checklist to Help Prevent Violence in Schools.