Don Shomette

People are the Prize

Separated But Not Disconnected

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Today is ‘What Do You See Wednesday?”

Typically I just post a new picture, but today I’m also going to write about last week’s ‘What Do You See Wednesday?’

Here’s the picture and the explanation from last week:

This is an elementary school (k-3).  The cafeteria is the first door on the left.  There are dots on the floor that are evenly spaced, different color, and end at the cafeteria door.   What do you think the dots are used for and how would this help to improve school safety?

dots on ground

Here’s what others had to say.

Office B.B. Lesperance:
To control two separate lunch lines and keep order in the hall way. Each dot gives the student a spot to locate themself while the line progresses

Jackie Peffer:
I agree it’s to line the students up to go in and/or out of the cafeteria. One color could be for kids just buying milk while the other is for those buying their entire lunch.

Corporal Rob Sarnoski:
I believe my colleagues are correct in their assessment of the colored dots. As for how they contribute to safety, I think it’s two-fold. First, the dots and well-maintained hallway tell students and visitors that administrators take their responsibility for a positive and safe school environment seriously. Second, the dots reinforce behavioral expectations as the students wait for lunch (e.g. personal space, hands to self, etc.). A very simple and cool idea!

Thank you to those who commented—your insights were thoughtful, helpful, and right on.  I’m certain that when others review this post and read your comments, your words will help them to make their schools safer.  Thank you!

There’s very little I can add to this discussion except that school safety is an everyday part of our school day, regardless of whatever else we are doing.

What do I mean?

Feeding the students is a separate priority and the school has placed the dots on the ground to help accomplish that task.  While this is the priority at the moment, it can also benefit our school safety efforts if we remember that school safety is connected to everything we do.  By placing the dots on the ground the school has directly enhanced the order and speed of feeding the children.  They have also indirectly enhanced the order and speed of the children being able to exit the building. During a crisis a person’s actions will reflect their training.  If a person has been well trained, muscle memory will kick in and they will perform as they have been trained.  These students know how to quickly and quietly line up because they practice it every day.

We can’t think that just because we’re not calling what we’re doing at the present moment school safety, that school safety is still not a part of what we’re doing.  Academics, policies and procedures, discipline, landscaping, class change, morning arrival, dismissal, and even lining up for lunch may be separate from school safety but it is not disconnected.

We have to remember this and take advantage of these moments.  After all, little accomplishments will lead to big victories!

Author: Don Shomette

Don Shomette is a trainer, speaker, consultant, and owner of People are the Prize, a violence prevention company that helps people to prevent and survive a school attack. He has spent a lifetime working with police officers and principals and is consistently evaluated by those who attend his trainings as one of the best instructors ever. Don challenges, entertains, and helps school personnel to think of preventing violence in a new and positive way.

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