Helping Parents Create Safe, Drug-Free Schools

Violence in school is always a big concern for parents. While some level of violence has always existed in our schools, the seriousness of the violence has grown. Fist fights and hazing are no longer the only forms of violence found in our schools. Guns and knives combined with drugs have made school safety a much more serious issue for parents today. Although research (Annual Report on School Safety) shows that serious violence occurs much more often to school-age kids outside of school it is still an area for concern. The U.S. Department of Education offers some some interesting research-based guidance for a wide variety of topics. Creating safe and drug-free schools is one of the topics they cover. Below is a summary of the research-based tips they recommend for creating safe and drug-free schools.

– Review school discipline policies with your child. Make sure that she knows what behaviors you expect of her in school. Let her know that you will support teachers in their efforts to enforce the policies.

– Work with the school to develop a plan to handle safety and drug problems, such as drug education and violence prevention programs. Make sure the school has clear consequences for students who break school rules.

– Get to know your child’s friends and their parents. Make sure their attitude about drugs is compatible with yours. If not, encourage your child to find new friends.

– Under the No Child Left Behind Act, states must identify “persistently dangerous schools” and provide families with an alternative to sending their children to schools that are unsafe. If your child attends such a school – or if your child has been a victim of school violence – talk with school officials about your options.

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