Whenever we hear of school shootings, we feel the pain of others while wondering about the safety of our own grandkids. The best way to allay our fears is to go back to the basics with our children and grandchildren.
Did your mom or dad send you off to school with a hug, kiss, and encouragement to accomplish your work? My mother included the admonition to obey my teachers. And usually, I did.
However, I received other instruction as a went on my way. I was not to speak with strangers, get into unknown cars or “dilly-dally” off the route. I was to go straight to school and stay on campus until the final bell.
Once at school, we received similar instructions including to report any strangers on campus, unknown book bags or cars driving around too many times.
But honestly, not much happened in our small town and no one was bringing knives to the school other than the Boy Scout utility brand.
And school graffiti was about “John loves Amy” and in the worst case “Defeat the Fuzz!” Then Amy got pregnant and “the fuzz”… they were never defeated.
Now, my kids and grandkids, that are going through middle and high school, report many frightening things. Even their bus rides seem to be mini-gang-wars on wheels.
Talking about school safety doesn’t stop with our youngest grands
While having a conversation with my teenage granddaughter, I asked if she could spot any threatening individuals in her high school. She had an entire list with proofs to back them. That’s when I suddenly became thankful for that cell phone she was on continuously. At least she could send out a message or make a call when necessary.
We also spoke about being aware of her surroundings, knowing safe places in the building and where exits were. We put emergency contacts on her phone and added the police station into speed dial.
Lastly, we decided which students she needed to bring up at the principal’s office. We also brought them up to her parents.
To me, grandparenting is a full-time job of the heart even though rather part-time in influence. And it when it comes to the wellbeing of my grandkids I have much to say.
What safety recommendations would you give your grands?