With school back in session, school board members need to ask some questions about what their district is doing to ensure safety. Does the district or its schools have a safety committee? How much do board members know about priorities and projects of the committee or committees? School leaders should know the answers to these questions.
The No. 1 role of board members in a safety committee is to support it: Walk through the schools, review accident investigation forms, ask questions regarding safety training, and supply funding allowing for committee members to meet.
The safety committee should be given the authority to take actions on immediate safety concerns and should answer directly to the superintendent and board. Kentucky schools are subject to various regulatory requirements dealing with safety and health. Within the school environment, the scope of safety programs ranges from violence prevention to minimizing chemical exposures.
While most schools have safety programs, these programs often need conscientious, creative application to improve their effectiveness. Safety committees play an important role in improving campus climate and discipline, as well as enlisting participation from various groups to create partnerships in this effort.
Here are some specific ways that school board members, as leaders, can support the safety committee:
- Take an interest in the committee, learn what it’s doing and back up its recommendations.
- Create an active, valuable team representing a cross section of employees.
- Validate the committee’s work by recognizing its importance and the commitment of its members
— For more information about school safety committees, please contact one of KSBIT’s experienced risk control and safety specialists at 1-800-876-4552.