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What's a Good School Safety Policy?
Q: I am a teacher in a middle school and am concerned about contacting the office in case of an emergency. We have no connection by any means with the office (which is quite a distance away). Our principal doesn't allow teachers to have cellular phones in the building. What is a good policy that ensures everyone's safety in school?
A: Well, it's one where the people feel safe - and you don't, so the policy probably needs some help. Cellular phones may be inappropriate for students to carry at school, but assuming teachers are not using the phones in ways that interfere with their jobs, having one available seems like a good idea. I suggest finding out the principal's reasons for concern about personal phones and seeing if they can be addressed. The school clearly needs your help, and you are to be commended for persisting on this important area of school safety.
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Gavin de Becker is widely regarded as the leading U.S. expert on the prediction and management of violence. His work has earned him three Presidential appointments and a position on a congressional committee. He is currently co-chair of the Domestic Violence Council Advisory Board, and a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy.