Security tips parents, schools should imbibe to safeguard kids
For educator, parenting coach and Director, Le Poshe School, Ikoyi RonkePosh Adeniyi, “in light of the recent security challenges in the country, it is important that all schools and parents have these conversations and improve on measures already in place.
“Beef up your security guards and enquiry processes. Who are the visitors at your gate and what processes are in place before gaining entry into the school. It should never be free for all access.
“This may not be the best time to swing school gates open at pickup and drop-off, be careful to know indivduals in the cars driving in. larger schools have more planning and management to do due to management and its number. Pick up cards many not be the best at this time as anyone can get a hold of it. It should be an added layer of security not a primary one.”
Adeniyi noted that school bus drivers and assistants should be briefed regularly about security measures so that it is never a case of ‘I don’t know. “What security measures does the school have in case of an emergency, are there buzzers, trackers or phones to keep tab?”
There should be communication systems such as walkie-talkie, mobile phones, alarms and intercoms should be available to ensure adequate information is passed around and everyone is at alert. If you do have some in place, are they still functional, and should you upgrade them if need be.
The educator noted that leadership should be available, hands-on, visible and supportive at this time. Try to have a feel about how staff and students feel at this time too.
“Communicate with parents to reassure them. Parents should drop kids inside the school, behind the school gate not at the gate. Many kids walk home and some play or loiter outside the school gates, do your best as schools and parents to keep them informed.
“Those ritualists will stop at nothing it seems. I have heard some parents arrange for drivers and bike riders to drop their kids at school daily. Revisit it; you just might need to find alternatives and safer arrangements.”
She added, “We still shouldn’t be begging parents to teach children how to protect themselves and raise an alarm if there are sexual predators. Do you not know that some teachers have been found to be predators?
“Kids can also be sexual predators and many have been exposed to all sorts of filth so please schools should also do their bits to ensure the environment is conducive for all. Going around with personal alarms is not a bad idea. I read a WhatsApp message where someone recommended moving around with weapons like knives. I do not recommend it.”
It is important to collaborate with community security, nearby police station and parents. More importantly, parents should partner with schools and report any suspicious activities or loopholes observed.
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