Schools are considered to be a home away from home … but if these are not safe then how do we ensure that our children are safe within the four walls of the so called home…
When I first sent my daughter to school, I was very very anxious. I wanted to stay with her within the school premises and not go back home. I am sure all you mothers have had same feelings of anxiety, excitement to be appropriate each one of us suffers from mixed feelings.
Out of the many feelings and thoughts, we mothers get while dropping our children to school or bus is FEAR. The emotion of fear even plagues the most confident mother of all. We fear whether our child will be safe in the hands of a person who we hardly know. We ponder how and with whom they will spend their day. We also worry whether they will eat something or when they cry, will there be someone to wipe out their tears. But for some things, there is the leap of faith and sending a child is synonymous to taking a leap of faith.
The recent incidents which have been taking place in various schools are actually very harrowing and have given rise to one question, “Are the children safe in school?”
The Arman Sehgal case, where the 10-year-old died after a fall at school (GD Goenka, Indirapuram), that too just outside his classroom. The incident happened after the boy reached school and was walking to his class to take a weekly test. His parents still don’t know what led to his sudden death and suspect that their son died due to the negligence of school authorities.
The Pradyuman case, where the 7-year-old was brutally murdered in the washroom minutes after entering his school (Ryan International School, Gurugram), have left all the parents wondering how a child could be murdered. This case has literally sent shivers down the spine and each parent is just seen discussing the safety of their children in school. Even the schools have pulled up their socks and are taking appropriate safety measures.
Last week, a 5-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in school by the peon. What the hell was the peon doing in the washroom which was to be used by the students? And how can one even think of assaulting a child … what a pervert!!!
An 11-year-old girl at a private school in Hyderabad was made to stand in the boy’s bathroom for not wearing her uniform to school. Her teacher refused to see her diary, where her parents had mentioned the reason for not sending her in school uniform. The girl is terrified with this incident and has refused to go to school.
These are just some gruesome incidents and there are more which may have been forgotten and many which have no presence in the media. These incidents sure raise questions whether our children are safe in schools which are often considered as second home.
Here are some ways you can assure that your is safe at school:
- Make sure that your child knows his contact information along with his full name and address. The child should know both the parents’ full names and mobile numbers. He should also know an emergency number just in case he cannot get in touch with you.
- In case your child walks to school, then choose a safe route and walk it with them before you let them take it alone. Try to avoid the bylanes and the alleys. Encourage your child to walk with his friends or sibling.
- Avoid putting your child’s name on a visible area on their bag and clothes. If someone calls your child by name, he may not know whether the person is a stranger.
- Once your child returns from school, ask them questions regarding their day at school and the after school routine. If you find that your child is hiding something, talk to the teacher and take your child into confidence that it is alright to talk to you and the teacher in case of any problem.
- Try not to buy something very expensive for school as far as school stationery is concerned. All of us like to buy the best for our children, but we never know that buying them expensive things can lead them to some unforeseen danger.
- Educate children … both girls and boys about the good touch and the bad touch. Tell them if someone touches the body parts which come under the swim suit, they should shout out loud, and say a firm NO.
- Encourage your child to stay in groups rather than staying alone. If a child goes missing, the other children can raise an alarm and report the same to the teacher.
- Be a part of your child’s classroom through Parent Teacher Meetings and other programs which help the school and parents to come on the same platform for the welfare of children. Being involved with your child ensures that you are serious about your child’s interest at school.
- Teach your child not to talk to strangers. They should not accept any sweets, chocolates, gifts or a free ride home from any stranger.
- Ensure that your child’s records are up to date. Do tell the teacher in case your child is allergic to some food or is taking some medication.
- Last but not the least, pay attention to any change’s in your child’s sleeping and eating habits. If you find that your child is withdrawing or going into a shell then take care as it is a matter of concern.
These are just some measures by which we can try to avoid mishaps because we don’t know where danger is lurking. So please follow these and don’t forget to stay safe!!
Please see this video with your children, which tells us about the ABC of Safety: