Suggestions for Addressing Safety Drills
by Maegan Renee | Friday, Aug 30, 2019
At A.D. Henderson and FAU High School, safety continues to be a top priority. Therefore, students will participate in safety drills (fire drills, tornado drills, and code red drills) during the 2019-2020 school year. Please know your school counselors are here to support your child if he or she has concerns about safety drills.
School Counselors Grades K-12
Grades K-5th : Ms. Abreu - email@example.com
Grades 6th-8th : Mrs. Nayman - firstname.lastname@example.org
Grades 9-12th : Dr. Renee - email@example.com
When you’re dealing with something potentially frightening, if you can get ahead of the anxiety, then kids feel more in control - Dr. Jamie Howard
Here are some suggestions for addressing safety drills with school-aged child:
- Communicate Openly: It is important to talk about the school’s safety procedures with your child and provide an opportunity for him or her to discuss their feelings, thoughts and questions.
- Stay Calm: During this open conversation, it is important to recognize that no matter the age of the student, we as adults are the models for how to react to undesired or stressful situations. If an adult demonstrates a calm approach to the discussion of code red drills or lockdowns, students will not have reason for alarm. Adults remaining calm is a proactive approach to avoiding unnecessary fear for children and teens.
- Reassure Safety: Remind students that the school is a safe place with many trusted adults. It is important to emphasize that students should listen to who is in authority (i.e. teacher, specials teacher, principal, or whoever is in charge of their class at that time). You can teach them the acronym PAL (P-pause, A- Adult and L-Listen) as a way to help them remember what to do in case of a safety drill or emergency. Remind students that during safety drills or emergencies they can pause and take a deep breath. Then, they should find a trusting adult. If they are in a classroom they should find their teacher, if they are in the hallway they need to find the nearest room/classroom. And last, they need to remember to listen to the adult in the room. The adult will let you know what actions to take as well as when it’s all clear. Express that in this time, these actions of pausing, finding a trusting adult, and listening is keeping them safe (idea adapted from Dr. J. S. Prager, 2013).
- Make Your Conversations Developmentally Appropriate: Be sure to frame your conversations surrounding safety procedures in a way that is developmentally appropriate.