Contacting parents during a crisis

Informing parents about the safety of their child during a school crisis is a priority. Being unaware of a child’s security, alarms parents, and communication between the school and parents can alleviate some of that fear.

Dangerous situations in schools are rare, but if they do occur, the district has two protocols for contacting parents. Park High Principal Lori Dust states that guardians will be informed of their student’s situation as soon as possible.

There are further concerns regarding panicking parents arriving at the school to see their children during a crisis. This could potentially create additional chaos. Dust said “Sometimes, people can come rushing to the school when they hear it’s a problem and we have to make sure we stay out of their way and let them do their job. Once we do our job, we hand it over to the police and they take care of it.” Parents could get in the way of the police who are trying to diminish the threat.

Dust does not believe she can prevent students from contacting their parents when the students feel frightened. Threatening situations can trigger students’ instincts to turn to the people who they feel can protect them. For most students, those people are their parents.

“I think in a perfect world, if things went south in a hurry and something is going on, if everybody stayed off their phones, that would be ideal, but is that going to happen? Probably not.” said Officer Tim Williams, Park High’s School Resource Officer.