Blog Entry by Mark Moody
Mark Moody owns Secure Your Building Consulting LLC, and currently works with the Vermont Agency of Education and Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust conducting safety/security audits for Vermont schools. Mark recently retired after serving for 37 years as a police officer. He worked in various capacities at the Montpelier Police Department and ended his career as the Montpelier School District School Resource Officer. Mark is the chairman of the Vermont Youth Officers Network and is a member of the Vermont State Crisis Planning Team.
Safety is everyone's responsibility. The following relationships are prime examples: a big sister or brother watching their younger sibling; a parent and their child; the school staff person and their students; the police and fire watching over all the community citizens. We are all affected by a home town tragedy and we will live with it for years or forever; especially if we could have done something and we did not.
Planning and practicing safety plans creates preparedness when a crisis situation threatens. Without being prepared we are left to pure emotional and chaotic response; which we have learned through history creates more injuries and tragedy. Life has no guarantees and all threats can't be thwarted. We can however, lower the odds of a crisis incident from happening through our efforts in school safety -- and adopting those efforts as a fundamental precursor to academic learning. Our schools hold our most precious commodity, our children. A bank has a prime directive for security and safety, and an armed guard to guard our money -- why not at our schools, where all of our community's children live during the day?
"We feel so safe with you here protecting us." Throughout my career as a School Resource Officer (SRO), I often heard these words from students and staff. There is no question in my mind, being and feeling safe is essential to creating a positive school climate.
Safety tip: Teach our children A.R.F. (Awareness, Referral, Follow-up)
- Keep your head up and be aware of what is happening around you;
- Refer information that could harm someone so professionals can act to prevent tragedy at the earliest possible stages; and
- Follow-up with trusted adults (verify something was done with the information).
We as adults need to create and sustain a nurturing environment in our own community that allows our youth to carry out the action steps in A.R.F. As adults, we should lead by example.
Page Last Updated on December 4, 2014