Let's Talk about School Safety

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Photo of Bill Laware Bill LaWare is the Chittenden Central Supervisory Union (CCSU) Director of Safety & Security. Prior to joining CCSU, Bill was an instructor in Patrol Procedures at Vermont Police Academy for 13 years and a Burlington Police Officer for 28 years, retiring as a Lieutenant in 2000. Bill majored in Criminal Justice at Adirondack Community College, Glens Falls, NY.

Every student, faculty, and staff member within every school in our State has an obligation to ensure a safe and secure learning environment. Schools are safe places, but in order to ensure that schools remain safe, it's imperative that good communication exists between students, parents, faculty, and staff. I encourage you to start the dialogue.

Approximately 85% of school shootings, someone (parents, students, faculty, staff) had some prior knowledge that some violent act may occur, but, failed to communicate that information. Good communication begins at a very basic level. Teachers should be visible, greeting students at the start of the school day, initiating friendly interactions with students throughout the school day, especially during lunch hours. We should be telling students and parents to be observant, and let an adult know if they see something that looks suspicious. Anonymous tip lines (telephone and texting tip lines) are also great reporting systems for students, parents, faculty, and staff to utilize.

It may be necessary to experience, to some degree, a bit of inconvenience in order to increase the level of security within a school building. This is not to say, however, that the level of convenience always decreases as the level of security increases. Remember, good communication between students, parent, faculty, and staff is imperative in creating a safe school culture and climate.

Page Last Updated on December 4, 2014