Create effective policies to make Cherry Hill Public Schools safer and healthier

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SUMMARY:

In order to secure the safety and optimize the potential of the academic and social development of CHPS students and staff it is necessary we:

-Get CHPS a larger, better trained, armed security detail, engaged, involved and comfortable with the student body.
-Add more points of access to safe evacuation routes throughout the various CHPS buildings, and to re-vamp drills and safety procedures
-Provide more intensive psychological and therapeutic care and guidance for all CHPS faculty and students.

IN DETAIL:

Dear Cherry Hill Board of Education,

The students of Cherry Hill Public Schools require, in their pursuit to develop the skills necessary to grow into the productive and constructive members of society Cherry Hill Public Schools strive to shape them into, drills and security in place within our district beyond the inadequate practices and resources it utilizes now. There should be better drills to demonstrate what to do if something were to happen during a lunch period or class changing period, and protection to ensure our safety. With many cases circling the news, the issue has evidently grown to be omnipresent. It is our right to feel safe within the walls of our schools. Without proper safeguards and training on what to do in the event of a crisis, we cannot.

In the event of an emergency, we believe that in order to protect the students and staff at our schools, it would be necessary to get a larger security detail, entailing more armed and better trained security forces, that is more involved and engaged in the student body (as to develop a trust and understanding of the students and widely varying social dynamics and issues and more efficiently carry out their job). This could be made possible by bringing in a professional to speak to those that are apart of the security guard, and having the security officials partake in social activities at the school, such as competitions and spirit activities, as well as lunches with these security officials. This may sound trivial, but all of the small things to keep the security engaged with all of the highs and lows and nooks and crannies of the social landscape that is present within Cherry Hill Public Schools, aid in an effort optimize security and foster a safer environment. The professional could give a workshop to the staff to teach them proper techniques and skills to protect the students and staff.

Furthermore, in order to protect more students, we should have more drills and practices for what to do if there were to be a lockdown, lockout, or shelter in place during a lunch period, or class changing period. It would be beneficial to place better escape routes or exits, with more points of access, that lead to a non-isolated location in order to get more students out of the building with enhanced security and with chances of securing themselves to safety. This could be put in place during future construction projects at the School District’s convenience, or as often as the schools undergo construction projects. This would include the addition of doorways and passageways to the schools that would allow for the aforementioned concerns to be addressed.

Finally, and most importantly, the School District needs to take a better and more sufficient interest in the mental health of their students. As seen in the news, students across the country are recklessly taking lives of others, which is clearly because of a mental illness of some sort. The schools take a large interest in the physical health of their students, but not nearly as much as the mental health of the students, even though both are equally as important, if not having mental health supersede physical fitness. With better guidance, the schools can assist their students in getting help if needed, and spot someone who needs help before it is too late. In a high-pressure society, in a high-pressure system, attestable by the participants of the system and their relations, mental health is key in the schools’ efforts to improve and maintain the good standings of their students, optimize their potential, and keep them healthy and safe. This includes regular conferences, therapy, and professional aid throughout the students’ high school career.

We would like to thank you for your time and patience. We all only want the best for our schools and our peers. We hope to see a change in the strength and security of our district.

 



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