The new school year is upon us. In addition to shopping for the latest in fall fashion and new books, parents should also be informing themselves and their children on the importance of staying safe at school.
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, about 30% of middle and high school students say they have been bullied on some level. Both physical and cyber bullying at school are issues that have made headlines over the past year, but the reality is that there are many other dangers in addition to bullying that your child can face at school every day.
As the national's leading website for free legal information, FindLaw.com stays current with issues dealing with school safety and offers these tips:
Talk to your kids about school safety: It sound simple, but the first step in combating any problem that may arise at school starts with discussing with your children behaviors that are inappropriate and how to report them. As a parent, you should also be talking to other parents.
Know where your child is: This can start with walking your child to the bus stop or school if your schedule permits. The more you know about your son or daughter's activities, the better informed you will be of potential problems.
Pay Attention: Watching out for clues such as out-of-ordinary behavior, excessive sick days and anti-social behavior may be signs that your child is a victim of bullying, but not comfortable telling you.
Know your kids' teachers: In addition to talking to other parents, checking in with your child's teacher on a regular basis will keep you informed. Getting updates on academic and social progress and also inquiring about any bullying or other situations will help stop any problem before it goes too far.
Hopefully the tips above can help stop any threats to your child's safety before they start. If you feel or know that your child is the victim of bullying or harassment, be sure to waste no time contacting school authorities, local law enforcement, and an attorney if necessary. For more tips on how to keep your kids safe at school, visit FindLaw.com.
Here's to a safe and successful school year!
-- Michelle Croteau, Director of Marketing Communications
with Laura Strachan, FindLaw Audience Team