Back to School: Thinking about School Safety

Posted by on Aug 13, 2018 in News | 0 comments

It’s back to school time! For many students in Los Angeles, this week marks the start of the school year, while others will head back later this month. There is always much to do in order to prepare: children and teens finish up their summer reading and pick out school supplies with their parents, who also begin to prime their schedules for a new year of projects, extracurricular activities and school commutes. During all of this preparation, it is also important to address the issue of school safety. Here we share a variety of support resources for families to make this coming academic year a safe and healthy one.

Hathaway-Sycamores back to school

School safety can encompass an array of experiences for students and their families: from mental health conditions that students are managing as they strive for academic achievement, to individual experiences with bullying, or even physical danger in the classroom.

Many online resources are available for parents and their children to help work towards academic success while supporting students’ mental health and safety. Psych Central offers a variety of topics including coping with anxiety about returning to school, the phobia of making a mistake in the classroom, transitioning from elementary to middle school, and being an advocate for your child within the school system. Mental Health America also provides a Back to School Kit with additional resources on returning to school.

In past generations, bullying was often brushed aside as just a part of growing up, but it has become a prominent parenting and school safety topic over the last decade thanks to growing media attention. Psych Central’s Dealing with Bullies addresses general aspects of this traumatic experience to help parents navigate what to do if their child is being bullied, including recognizing warning signs, helping your child, and tips for working with your child’s school. Refer to Kids Health for teen-specific resources on bullying.

We cannot ignore the growing number of tragic incidents of violence on school grounds in the last several years. It is important to create an outlet for children to comfortably express their anxiety or fear regarding feeling safe at school. Mental Health America offers tips on Talking to Kids About School Safety. NCTSN provides a vast array of resources on school violence for parents and teachers alike, including a tip sheet on discussing with children the news of a school violence incident or this resource to simply understand how children react to trauma at varying stages in their lives.

Explore these resources to support your children or children you work with, teach, or mentor. We encourage you to use this as a jumping off point to delve deeper into how to maintain a safe, successful school year.

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