Safe at school—and everywhere

AS A RECENTLY RETIRED public school principal, I know that a good safety plan for all students and staff is essential to managing an elementary school. This includes reasonable rules for behavior, staff and parent engagement, conscientious playground and cafeteria supervision, and procedures to ensure the protection of those on campus.

In response to violent and tragic events that have occurred on school campuses over the past ten years, from elementary school to colleges, schools have collaborated with public agencies to prevent further occurrences. So now it is very common to see "closed campus" settings, electronic surveillance, formal lockdown and evacuation procedures, and, in many cases, a visible police presence at schools.

As a principal, I would regularly visit classrooms and monitor the playground and cafeteria. I would regularly ask myself, Do I feel safe on this campus? I could honestly answer, Yes, I do. It wasn't just because of all the updated safety devices and procedures added to the campus during my tenure as principal. I also felt safe because of an abiding confidence and conviction that God's love is ever present and that He does not put any of His precious children in harm's way.

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August 9, 2010

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