Creating a ‘Culture of Safety’
Building a culture of safety is an on-going process involving the entire school community, from board members to support staff, everyone needs to be focused and vigilant. As Tom Burton states, “School safety needs to be proactive and systemic and leadership needs to be diligent each day. You need to be committed to it, and you need to make sure it’s on-going. It doesn’t matter where you are. You can have a small school or a large school, located in an urban or a rural area—and tragedy can happen to you. Safety issues can be internal or external. Issues can stem from an angry student, parent, or community member. There are so many different possibilities that could happen that we need to be vigilant and focused.”
A culture of safety is one that moves beyond compliance and banishes complacency. It doesn’t say, “this won’t happen here” and instead prepares for all types of emergencies. A culture of safety is engrained in all actions, plans and procedures. It doesn’t build fear, it builds confidence and empowers staff with the tools and training necessary to effectively respond to emergencies. And as Tom shares, “it allows us to provide the level of preparation that could let us all sleep a little easier at night.”
Building a culture of safety doesn’t happen over night, it takes a commitment. Likewise, Emergency Management software doesn’t make you prepared just by turning it on. It takes a commitment by you and your staff to engage with the tools and techniques provided in order to raise your level of preparedness. In his article, Tom highlights four key takeways to consider when integrating the software into your safety program.
Safety is a basic human necessity and must come before any learning can occur. According to Tom Burton, “By creating a safe and secure atmosphere, our students will flourish and live up to their potential. Doing so, we can say we’ve done our job and made our mission come alive.”