When crime, drugs and violence spill over from the streets into the schools, providing a safe learning environment becomes increasingly difficult. More students carry weapons for protection. Gunfights replace fistfights. Many students must travel through drug dealer or gang turf. Violence becomes an acceptable way to settle conflicts. When this happens, children cannot learn and teachers cannot teach.
Creating a safe place where children can learn and grow depends on a partnership among students, parents, teachers, and other community institutions.
Here are some practical suggestions for young people and parents to help keep violence out of school:
- Settle arguments with words, not fists or weapons.
- Report crimes or suspicious activities to the police, school authorities, or parents.
- Take safe routes to and from school and know good places to seek help.
- Don't use alcohol or other drugs and stay away from places and people associated with them.
- Get involved in your school's anti-violence activities -- have poster contests against violence, hold anti-drug rallies, volunteer to counsel peers. If there are no programs, help start one.
- Sharpen your parenting skills. Work with your children to emphasize and build their positive strengths.
- Teach your children how to reduce their risk of being victims of crime.
- Know where your kids are, what they are doing and whom they are with -- at all times!
- Help your children learn nonviolent ways to handle frustration, anger and conflict.
- Become involved in your child's school activities - PTA, field trips and helping out in class or lunchroom.
To further school safety, the Special Operations Division of the Longmont Police Department also places School Resource Officers (SRO's) in many of the local middle schools and high schools. These fully-trained officers provide a visible law enforcement presence to assist in the prevention and control of crime, delinquency, truancy, and disorder on campus. They directly interact with school officials, students, and parents in making Longmont schools a safer place to learn.
For more information about the school resource officers, contact the
Police Programs Coordinator at (303) 774-4440.