As children settle in at school, we want students to be safe in online learning environments. Teachers are often a child’s first defense against predators and bullies. But how safe are your children from abuse and bullying while learning online?
The safety of children must be paramount to every school’s plan. Here are some essential questions to ask at your school’s virtual open house to help get the conversation started:
- Does the school have a child protection policy and a code of conduct for virtual learning?
Why Ask: School policies for employees, volunteers, and vendors should outline proper procedures and expectations for conduct which enhances protections for children. When questionable conduct violates a policy, it is much more likely to be reported. A school with a robust child protection policy is a deterrent to predators. Please click here to learn more about how your child’s school can better protect children.
- Are teachers, coaches, and counselors permitted to communicate privately with students?
Why Ask: School policies should prohibit adults from engaging with students through texting, emails, or on private social media unless that information is being provided to other adults-either parents, teachers, or administrators. When interactions with children are unmonitored, it exposes children to predators and grooming behaviors. These predators seek to establish a rapport and relationship with a student who may be left unmonitored by others through grooming tactics.
- What happens if my child is bullied, either in-person or online?
Why Ask: Bullying prevention programs provide children and teachers with strategies such as conflict resolution skills, resiliency, de-escalation, and other soft skills that are useful in bullying situations and throughout life.
Procedures and policies provide accountability and a step-by-step approach to bullying behaviors. Check the student handbook to make sure that bullying accountability is outlined.
Talk to your children about bullying. Help get the conversation started by clicking here to download the Beau Biden Foundation’s Parents’ Guide to Bullying Prevention.
Learn more about how you can help protect children and confront abuse in their schools at www.BeauBidenFoundation.org/Workshops.