Sending your kid off to school used to be as simple as packing a lunch and making sure that they caught the bus on time. But nowadays, parents have far greater concerns to deal with when it comes to the health and safety of their kids at school.
Concerns from health consequences of being exposed to communicable diseases in poorly ventilated buildings to the staggering levels of traumatic experiences to school shootings, today’s parents, students, and teachers have very different experiences from those in past generations.
These concerns are particularly true in school districts located in urban settings where students are more likely to be exposed to unsafe conditions, such as contaminated drinking water and buildings in disrepair, traumatic experiences, such as school violence and bullying, and an increasingly higher number of school shootings.
No matter where your kids attend school, it’s very likely that they are being exposed to far more than you could ever imagine, so it’s important to have regular and open discussions with them about the problems they’re currently facing at school.
The top 3 biggest problems you should be aware of:
The COVID-19 pandemic brought health-related concerns into the limelight, but it’s certainly not the only health issue students are facing.
There are many communicable diseases that your child is likely being exposed to on a daily basis, and many school districts have been seeing large outbreaks within their buildings. These outbreaks include COVID, RSV, Norovirus, and Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease just to name a few.
Many of today’s students are also experiencing trauma within our school buildings.
From bullying, intimidation, and threats to theft, weapons, violent acts, and the sale of illegal substances, kids are being exposed to a lot of undesirable items and behaviors in a place that should be entirely safe for them.
All of these exposures lead to long-term trauma, and they have a real effect on their feelings of safety, their ability to learn, and on their overall mental health.
While students in urban areas experience a much higher number of school shootings overall, no student, building, or district is safe from the threat of a shooting. Mass shootings are actually more common in suburban and rural school districts.
More than half of all school shootings take place outside of the building, but the shootings that do take place inside the building are often more deadly. While schools provide counseling to assist students in dealing with this level of violence, the truth is it strips our kids of their youthful innocence and disintegrates their feelings of safety. This in turn, has a deadly impact on their ability to learn. Recognizing the issues your child may be facing is a crucial step in keeping them safe. It takes active and engaged parents to make sure that school districts are doing everything possible to protect them.