The country has been shocked by the brutal murder of the seven-year-old student of Ryan International School and a five-year-old in Gurgaon. Every day we hear tales of some violence perpetrated against helpless children, and in an environment where they are meant to feel secure.
Parents who trust that the school are now terrified that their children could be next, and are seeking reassurance. To that end, educational institutions need a well-planned strategy that ensures prompt response to an emergency so that no life is harmed or lost. Here are some measures that they could adopt.
(Also Read: CBSE Blames Ryan International School’s Lack Of Basic Security For 7-YO Boy’s Unfortunate Death)
1. Guarding entry points
Every entry point to a school must be restricted and controlled in such a way that no one goes through without being properly identified. These points should be staffed by trained adults who can determine if the visitors really need access or not.
2. Installing alarm systems
Mandatory security measures should include alarms in every school. In case of an emergency, alarms should simultaneously alert the school authorities and the local law enforcement officials.
3. Installing telephones
The installation of telephones at strategic locations within the school premises can act as an alternative to the rule that prohibits students from bringing mobile phones to school. Students can access help more easily if they are given the liberty to use these instruments in emergencies.
4. Installing CCTVs
CCTVs are not items of luxury, but of necessity. Placing them at strategic locations within the school campus can aid in ensuring that no act of violence or abuse goes unnoticed by authorities. The response to an unfortunate event, therefore, becomes automatically quicker.
5. Practicing disaster plans
Students and staff should be given regular practice in the understanding of and executing disaster plans. A catastrophe can strike anytime. Hence, it’s highly imperative for the entire school to be ready when it does.
(Also Read: Private Schools In Gurgaon Are Now Offering Admissions To The Students Of Ryan International)
6. Setting up of response units
In case of an emergency, response units can mitigate the effects of a disaster if they are prompted into action. This can be possible only when everyone present at the school adheres to safety protocols.
7. Building zero tolerance for bullying
Everyone from parents to school staff should create an atmosphere where the child develops zero tolerance for bullying. This can act as the first step toward building a child’s resistance to all kinds of abuse.
8. Setting a community watch
A community watch can be organised in schools that comprise teachers, senior students, and other staff members. Keeping a vigil during school hours can go a long way in preventing a disaster. It is advised, however, that the members report a crime when it occurs instead of intervening themselves.
9. Building a rapport between school officials and law authorities
This relationship should be established long before a disaster strikes. Response protocols should be addressed and discussed multiple times until both parties agree upon them.
(Also Read: Probe Committee Finds ‘Blatant Lapses’ On School’s Part In Ryan Murder Case)
10. Creating safe zones
Schools, overall, should be a safe zone, but sometimes a corner can particularly stand out as unsafe. Students should be encouraged to seek help in case they fear venturing into a space that seems unfamiliar to them.
11. Becoming situationally aware
Teachers and students should be trained in situational awareness, wherein they are encouraged to report anything that seems alarming. For example, if they spot the presence of an unknown person, they should be able to report him or her to the school authorities.
Any conceivable act of violence can be prevented by adopting these measures. Indian states should offer all the help they can to improve the security of the nation’s schools and ensure that no child is ever harmed again.
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