Ensuring all schools are safe and secure is important in meeting the needs of students and providing quality education. However, school safety includes more than secured doors and a safe schools plan. It also includes the mental health of students and educators, feeling safe in remote learning environments and monitoring a child’s internet and technology usage.
Gov. Laura Kelly has proclaimed Oct. 18-24 as Kansas Safe Schools Week.
America’s Safe Schools Week was established in 1984 and has been celebrated annually since then.
In Kansas, the focus of Monday, Oct. 19, is mental health of students, teachers and parents. Suicide is the No. 2 leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is important to be mindful of everyone’s mental health – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tuesday, Oct. 20, will highlight the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) partnered to create the reporting tool for schools and community. It can be accessed at https://www.kbi.ks.gov/sar.
The focus of Wednesday, Oct. 21, is dangerous applications. With teenagers being introduced to more technology, it is important to have open and honest communications about the dangers of the internet and popular internet applications.
Social and emotional trauma is the focus of Thursday, Oct. 22. The COVID-19 pandemic can produce feelings of fear, anxiety, isolation and loneliness. Making sure students get enough sleep, exercise and good nutrition, as well as ensuring they have supportive relationships and time for mindfulness activities, can help.
Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic is the focus of Friday, Oct. 23. Please make sure to wash hands often, wear a mask, practice good health habits and cover coughs and sneezes.
For more information and resources, visit https://www.ksde.org/Kansas-Safe-Schools.
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