Boone County Schools are dedicated to providing a safe culture and climate for both students and staff in order to produce a highly productive learning environment which leads to outstanding academic performance. School safety is a cumbersome and vast topic that includes everything from bullying to drug abuse, Internet safety to suicide, and many additional issues. Just as a healthy partnership must exist between parents and school staff for successful learning, it must also exist to ensure the safety of a student.
Here are some important reminders to help keep your child safe at school:
Bullying: Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
Types of Bullying:
• Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes things like teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments or threatening.
• Social bullying is referred to as relational bullying which involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying might be, for example, leaving someone out of a group on purpose, spreading rumors about someone or embarrassing someone in public.
• Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or their possessions. Physical bullying includes such acts as hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting, tripping, pushing, taking or breaking someone’s possessions.
• Cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. This includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets, as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Source: KY Center for School Safety
To report bullying, contact your child’s school or anonymously by calling 1-855-4ALERT1 and enter extension 1009.
Drug abuse/substance abuse: According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, drug abuse starts early and peaks during the teen years. This increased risk is partly due to adolescents’ heightened sensitivity to social influences (friends) and their still-developing brain, particularly areas critical to judgment and impulse control. The abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers has grown to alarming, even epidemic proportions in every county and school district in Northern Kentucky. The increasing abuse of these drugs has resulted in higher rates of arrests, addiction and overdose deaths. If your children haven’t already had to face a decision to partake in the use of heroin or the recreational abuse of prescription painkillers, it’s very likely they will have to in the future. Truly, the best method of prevention available to any child is having parents who are aware of substance abuse issues and provide a good example of role modeling, establish firm boundaries with family rules and expectations, communicate openly and are actively and consistently involved in their child’s life.
For more information about these issues, we encourage you to visit www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov.
Legislative requirements for school safety:
The passage of Senate Bill 8/ HB 354 expands current law by requiring schools and districts to include community first responders in their emergency plans, and presents an opportunity for review and refinement of current emergency and safety practices through continuous improvement. This bill is a logical step taken after recent tragic events occurring in our nation’s schools, ranging from intruders to tornadoes, and focuses our attention once again on our goals and efforts to keep our students and school staff safe.
Every Boone County School has an emergency plan which includes procedures to be followed in case of fire, severe weather, or earthquake, or if a building lockdown as defined in KRS 158.164 is required; the principal shall discuss the emergency plan with all school staff prior to the first instructional day of each school year and shall document the time and date of any discussion. Legislation outlines the number of safety drills and at which times of year these drills must take place. For more information on school safety, please contact your child’s school, Boone County Schools Central Office at 859/283-1003 or visit the Kentucky Center for School Safety at www.kycss.org.