Bomb threats to schools: Parents, here's what you should do

Several hoax bomb threats are being issued to schools in Delhi, Rajasthan and elsewhere as well. What can parents do in such a situation?
Children will be very scared, naturally
Children will be very scared, naturally(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

Bomb threats to schools, colleges and educational institutions are going up by the day. And this can leave a deep impact on the mental health of students.

What can parents and educational institutions do? What preventive measures can be taken? The Coach helps us look into this in great detail

1. Safety protocols, immediate response and evacuation: Parents have to take the initiative!

Take the lead, parents
Take the lead, parents(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

Ensure that the schools have a well-defined emergency response plan that includes evacuation procedures and enroll in the ones that do. 

If you're not able to afford such a school, ensure that you and all other parents come together and persuade the school's management to make the necessary preparations, take the necessary precautions and make the required changes in the infrastructure. 

Conducting regular drills so that students and staff are well-prepared in case of an actual threat is a mandate and needs to be followed. You, as a parent, have every right to demand these measures.

2. Communication and coordination — the saviour in times like these

Talk, communicate, reach out!
Talk, communicate, reach out!(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

I have always and will always urge parents to create a social media group that is devoid of any senseless forwards. You can also name the group as "SOS", "Emergency" and so on.

It is of utmost importance to create, establish and sustain a communication system to quickly relay information to all parents from the staff in cases of emergencies.

Establish a protocol, which will make it easy to coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to ensure a swift response to threats. Test the system and ensure that you utilise your contacts or the contacts of everyone in the group. Keep at least "two single points of contact". If one is on leave or inaccessible the other should be able to help.

3. Strengthening security: The school's responsibilities

Demand for it
Demand for it(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

Investment in security infrastructure such as surveillance cameras, metal detectors, and securing entry points needs to be mandated and properly maintained.

Also, I hope the parents persuade the schools to perceive the seriousness of the matter and not allow any lapse in such protocols.

Training staff to recognise and respond to suspicious behaviour and activities is also crucial, especially because they need to be on a constant lookout for suspicious vehicles, drugs being sold, or any other dangerous activities in the vicinity.

It is also crucial for the school to develop rapport with the local law enforcement agencies and connect the staff with the patrolling police to act immediately and not let the suspect(s) slip away.

It is very essential to develop a culture of vigilance and encourage reporting of any unusual or suspicious activities, not just by the security but also by the students.

4. We are 'one' when it comes to the safety of our kids! Community involvement is a must

United we stand
United we stand(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

Reemphasising this aspect of fostering a strong relationship between schools, parents, and the community is justified even if it is done every day, as it is crucial to build a united front against threats. This also makes it easy to organise meetings to discuss safety concerns, collaborate on preventive measures and even keep the rapport alive between parents. Involving kids and empowering them to become observant goes a long way.

The rise in bomb threats against schools is a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities within our educational systems, especially because it leads to maximum mental stress. It is imperative that we address these threats with a multi-faceted approach that includes all of the above points that I've mentioned.

5. In conclusion...

No threat welcome
No threat welcome(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

Though this is easy for me to say, I would like to still put across this point as I sign off! I humbly request you to proact and not react as a threat to our little ones is usually enough to throw us off balance and elicit an emotional response rather than a rational one, but if you just take a step back and observe, it becomes evident that most of the parents are in the same boat.

Just keep your emotions aside in situations like this and let your rational take control and I'm sure we'll be able to take care of not just our kids, but save the lives of all the kids.