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How Do You Keep a School Safe From Violence and Crime?

how do you keep a school safe from violence and crime

Principal job interviews contain lots of awkward questions. You will need to communicate a concise and on-point response.

For instance, how would you answer this question: how do you keep a school safe from violence and crime?

Here is a suggested answer to this question. Begin by saying, “There is no one-size-fits-all solution to keeping a school safe from violence and crime.

Since all schools are different, each school’s procedures will be different. I think for ___ {mention the name of the school to which you are applying___} I would recommend…” Then choose at least ten of the following suggestions for keeping the school safe, based on the school’s demographics, location, history of violence and crime, and the current situation.

  • Establish walking groups for students who walk to school.
  • Implement strong extra-curricular programs for all students, including those “at-risk” to keep them occupied after school.
  • Develop a job training program and require after-school internships for all junior and senior students.
  • Require an anti-gang dress code or school uniforms.
  • Have ID cards for staff and students.
  • Assign staff or peer mentors to all incoming students and those who have difficulty academically or behaviorally.
  • The principal and vice-principal must be very visible on campus.
  • Establish an assertive discipline procedure in all classrooms and other areas of the school.
  • Students who arrive late, wander the halls, litter, smoke, swear, etc., are testing their limits. The first step in an effective discipline procedure is to address these issues, not ignore them, including carrying forbidden beepers, writing on walls, and “minor” bullying. Create a clear discipline policy that addresses these issues and more severe infractions. It must have rules and consequences that get more serious with each infraction. The policy must include zero-tolerance policies, with implications spelled out, for bullying, fighting, gangs, drugs, and weapons.
  • Implement a conflict resolution program.
  • Alternate vacation days by geographical area to keep gangs away from each other.
  • Hire adult monitors for restrooms.
  • Fence the campus completely with 8-foot fences, lock down the campus during school hours, and require visitors to sign in and out at the office.
  • Hold regular drills for fires, intruders, other emergencies.
  • Improve campus night lighting.
  • Install security cameras and audio alarms.
  • Have security officers on campus.
  • Put a mobile home on the campus with a guard in residence.
  • Partner with Neighborhood Watch programs and the local police.
  • Use drug-sniffing dogs if drugs are a problem.
  • Eliminate lockers if drugs are a problem.
  • Use metal detectors at all entrances to the school.
  • Legally prosecute all acts of violence and crime.