I should know better. I was listening to the talking heads tell us how to protect our children in school. I turned off the news because it was overly simplistic. Let’s leave the soundbite answers to the politicians. Real safety isn’t a one-step process. We take measure after measure to keep our children safe, and it is certainly not “one size fits all”.
The way we protect our children at school is similar to the way we protect our kids everywhere else. We take a series of steps that each make us safer. Take this inventory and tell me if your home and church are prepared. I ask you to start there because home and church are where you can make a difference today. Once that is done, then make an appointment to talk to your school principal. I’m going to start with the basics.
Do these steps fit your life?
— Intact families make children and adults safer. If you don’t believe me, then consider how much harder it is for a single mom to complete this list than for a married couple. Taking care of your family is part of a safety plan, so give yourself credit.
— Spend less time watching screens, particularly less time watching on-screen violence. I got rid of the violent video games in my home. We see a correlation with violent video images and violent actions.
— Support drug addiction treatment. Reduced addiction lowers property crime and violent crime. Treating an addict in your home makes your home safer. Treating an addict in your community makes your community safer.
— Support mental health treatment. That lowers violent crime as well.
— It is nice to keep problems away from your family. Install physical security at home, at school, and at church. — Put in locks that lock automatically when the door closes. Have a second way to secure the door like a deadbolt or security bar.
— Add a safety film to your windows and doors so an intruder can’t kick his way into your home. I’ve also heard this called hurricane film.
— Learn first-aid beyond the band-aid. At least learn the Heimlich maneuver and CPR. When did you last take that training?
— Build a good medical kit. You can start simply. At least have the first-aid tools to treat a severe cut. You’re far more likely to treat cuts than armed intruders. Learn to deal with both. Do you have a tourniquet in your first-aid kit?
— Add motion sensitive lights to your home. It is better to frighten criminals away than to fight them off.
— Practice first-response with your family. Plan what you would do and rehearse it. What should each of you do in case of fire, hurricane, earthquake, first-aid, or an intruder?
— Learn armed self-defense. Yes, take a concealed carry class, but keep going. I like all the adults to receive some training.
The steps we take at home, work, school and church are remarkably similar. We don’t argue that first aid isn’t important. Each layer helps. In fact, each layer is essential under different circumstances.
Please leave a comment and tell me what you’ve done.