Tips for Parents
September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month
Keeping students safe is a primary concern for all of us. Now the U.S. House of Representatives is in on the action, having passed a resolution to support the annual designation of September as National Campus Safety Awareness Month.
Students hear various safety messages from home and from campus. Here are a few that don't always get the same airplay yet are very important in keeping your student safe:
- Write your name on the same page in each textbook, near the spine, so you can more easily identify them if they are stolen.
- Report any obscene email or phone messages. Some students are bullying and stalking others via cyberspace, and campus officials need to know so they can step in.
- Let residence hall staff know about building concerns like slippery floors, broken glass, missing window screens, burned out lights and more that can compromise community safety.
- When noting a person so you can describe him later, recall permanent features like hair color, height, facial structure, tattoos and birthmarks, rather than just focusing on changeable features like clothing.
- When describing an incident, stay objective, keep things in time order and share where you were located when it occurred.
- Don't post away messages on your Instant Message or on your door memo board that tell exactly where you are and for how long. That can be an invitation to robbery or other harm.
- If you're sitting in your car, lock the door so no one can take you by surprise.
- If you go somewhere with friends, make sure that everyone is accounted for before leaving.
- Memorize the phone number for campus public safety so you can call at a moment's notice.
- If a friend seems ill, intoxicated or drugged, get help immediately. Don't worry about him "getting in trouble." His health and safety need to be your #1 concern.
- Don't transport anyone to the hospital! Most of us aren't medically trained and could do more harm than good by moving an injured person. Ambulance personnel can work on your friend en route—they know what they're doing.
As we all work together to educate students about safety concerns, we're helping them be smart and stay safe.
Sources: www.securityoncampus.org; www.campussafetymonth.org/home
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