The Red Flags of School Safety

By Edward F. Dragan

People who are passionate about school safety have a vision -- a vision we share with concerned parents, educators, and especially with the kids we’re obliged to protect.

It’s a vision where our public schools become safe havens for kids -- warm, welcoming sanctuaries that foster an environment of teaching and learning and wall off the threats and violence so pervasive in our society.

In my talks across the country and in court cases I’ve worked on, it’s become only too apparent that school safety has become a paramount concern in the public arena. That’s actually good news if shining a brighter spotlight on the problem makes it easier to establish a new mindset and make our schools safer.

More and more news broadcasts focus on critical problems proliferating in schools around the country -- bullying, teachers having sex with students, and rapes and murders in schools. The mentality that something “could never happen to us” is being dispelled by headlines about kids dying on class trips, losing fingers in shop class, being hit by cars at poorly planned bus stops, and beating up their teachers.

As a school safety expert and consultant, I’ve faced an endless variety of challenges. The only common thread is that when standards are lax, children get hurt.

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