Report Reveals How Students are Feeling About Their Safety at School

THREE TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR STUDENTS FEEL SAFE 

By Craig Cable, Director of Ministry Safety, ACG Colorado 

One of the many perks of serving in law enforcement is that I often have access to studies and reports that are not widely distributed in the public sector. I recently received a study called the "2022 State of School Safety Report," which was sent to all the school resource officers in our region. The report was sponsored by a national non-profit organization called Safe and Sound Schools. This annual report measures perceptions of safety among four key stakeholder groups: students, parents, public safety, and educators. 

I recognize that public schools and parochial schools have their distinct challenges, but I thought this report may be able to serve as a starting point in your research to determine how your students are feeling about their safety. 

Click to download the 2022 State of School Safety Report 

Based on the findings in this report, I would like to offer the following tips to help your students feel safer when they are in your care. 

TIP #1 – Have visible safety measures in place 
Having tangible and visible safety measures in place goes a long way toward building confidence in students, parents, and staff. From security cameras and visitor access controls to identifiable safety monitors walking the property and halls, a visible presence not only instills a sense of safety at your school but also serves as a deterrent from those that wish to harm. 

TIP #2 – Your preparedness goes a long way towards building confidence 
According to the study, 86 percent of educators agreed that their school was prepared for a wide range of safety issues. That is a stark contrast to the 71 percent of students polled who felt that their school was really prepared. While some may feel that talking about a school's emergency action plans may create unnecessary anxiety in the minds of their students, it has been my experience that students want to know that you have thought through contingency plans and are prepared on their behalf. 

TIP #3 – Don't be single threat-focused 
While the concern over a school active shooter threat is often the primary focus of school security concerns, the report reveals that students have a much lower preparedness confidence score when it comes to other safety-related issues. Be sure that your safety plans include such things as bomb threats, bullying/cyberbullying, sexual abuse, aggression/discrimination, and substance abuse. 

In closing, I encourage you to download the report and discuss its findings with your staff, volunteers, parent groups, and students. Having a safe school is an "all-in" commitment from all the school's stakeholders. I would also encourage you to consider developing your own survey to see how this report's findings compare to your findings. Lastly, this is not a one-and-done effort. The survey that drove the findings in this report was compiled before the Uvalde school shooting. Highly publicized incidents can and often will drive short-term perceptions. Take these opportunities to reengage students and parents in an open discussion about preparedness when those incidences occur. 

If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out to me at ccable@americanchurchgroup.com.  

Craig is a sworn peace officer and serves as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for the patrol division at the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. has trained hundreds of security team leaders and volunteers and was the lead developer of the Safe and Secure & Church: The Ministry Approach training kit produced in partnership with Group Publishing and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company. 

Copyright.?© 2022 American Church Group of Colorado, LLC. All rights reserved.?The information in this article is intended to help your ministry better understand issues of vulnerability and mitigate risks.? It does not constitute legal advice between an attorney and a client. If specific legal advice is required, your ministry is encouraged to consult with a local attorney.?Neither Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, American Church of Colorado, LLC, nor?the author assumes liability for reliance upon the information provided in this?article. 
January 24, 2023
Wind and Hail – Deductible Buyback
Wind and Hail – Deductible Buyback
Tags: insurance, coverage, ministry
January 24, 2023
Common Questions About Our Agency
Common Questions About Our Agency
Tags: insurance, coverage, ministry
January 24, 2023
Coming to your area in 2023
Coming to your area in 2023
Tags: insurance, coverage, ministry
January 24, 2023
Kingdom Advancing Grant
Kingdom Advancing Grant
Tags: insurance, coverage, ministry
January 24, 2023
ACG Retreat in Kansas City
ACG Retreat in Kansas City
Tags: insurance, coverage, ministry
January 9, 2023
Better Achieve Your Mission in 2023
Better Achieve Your Mission in 2023
Tags: insurance, coverage, ministry
November 18, 2022
Our Team is Growing, Again!
November 10, 2022
We Want To Hear From You!
We Want To Hear From You!

There are a lot of hats worn in any growing ministry – and we want to serve every one of them. 

Tags: insurance
November 10, 2022
Evaluate Your Ministry's Fire Safety Plan
Evaluate Your Ministry's Fire Safety Plan

With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s wise for ministries to evaluate their fire safety plan. Whether your ministry is hosting a holiday party, prepping treats for charity, or running a community kitchen, make sure you’re well-prepared with these tips.

Tags: insurance, property, volunteer safety, fire safety
November 10, 2022
Holiday Season Safety & Security: 3 Things to Plan Before Christmas
Holiday Season Safety & Security: 3 Things to Plan Before Christmas

The holidays present unique opportunities and challenges for churches that aren’t typical during other times of the year. A lot of the ministries that I work with are seeing steady increases in attendance and are praying for a significant jump in Christmas service participation this year. 

Tags: insurance
October 26, 2022
October 2022 Blog: What is a 403(B)(9) Retirement Plan?
October 2022 Blog: What is a 403(B)(9) Retirement Plan?

In this article, Brad Brown from Plan A Wealth Management gives a wonderful insight into why ministries might consider choosing a 403(B)(9) retirement plan.  

Tags: insurance, property, taxes, retirement, retirement plan
September 21, 2022
Inflation's Major Impact on Ministries
Inflation's Major Impact on Ministries
Tags: insurance, schools, churches, building, property
September 21, 2022
Report Reveals How Students are Feeling About Their Safety at School
Report Reveals How Students are Feeling About Their Safety at School
Tags: insurance, schools, building, property, child safety
September 21, 2022
Top 10 Requested Forms
Top 10 Requested Forms
Tags: insurance, schools, churches, building, property
September 9, 2022
School is Back in Session
School is Back in Session

As school is back in session, it’s important to make sure your school is equipped with the correct safety procedures. Thinking about your school’s physical security as a series of layers can help you find gaps in your plan. Transportation and volunteers are just two important aspects of your school safety plan to think about.

Tags: christian schools, back to school, volunteer safety, child safety, transportation
August 17, 2022
Uvalde School Shooting Causes Ministries to Question Their Preparedness
Uvalde School Shooting Causes Ministries to Question Their Preparedness

If there is one thing I have learned over the last decade while working private security and as a sworn peace officer, the more critical the incident, the more likely change will come out of it. Much like a pendulum, an incident occurs, and everyone cries for change.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
August 17, 2022
Next Generation LEDs Performance, well beyond expectations
Next Generation LEDs Performance, well beyond expectations

Updating the lighting in your worship center with LED can offer significant energy savings while improving overall lighting performance.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
August 17, 2022
Our Team is Growing!
Our Team is Growing!

We are so excited to welcome the newest member of the American Church Group of Colorado team, Lyndsie Glowinski.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
August 17, 2022
Does Your Ministry Need Cyber Insurance?
Does Your Ministry Need Cyber Insurance?

Churches are increasingly becoming targets for cyber criminals. The most common attack is by sending “phishing” emails where the perpetrator poses as someone familiar to the ministry staff (like a senior pastor, deacon, elder, or someone trustworthy) and requests some sort of response.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
July 15, 2022
Shepherding Ministries in a Time of Change
Shepherding Ministries in a Time of Change

Anyone who turns on the news, flips through a magazine, or browses the web can see that American society and culture are experiencing rapid transitions. Some ministries have valid concerns that issues surrounding societal shifts may expose them to negative publicity, governmental scrutiny, or litigation.

The questions become: when and how can ministries operate within their deeply held religious beliefs when they may conflict with others’ rights?

Tags: ministry, insurance, religious freedom, protection