Police cars and flashing lights outside a school are sights no one wants to see. Teachers and administrators have to pay as much attention to student safety as classroom lessons.
Chris Maly is the English Department chairman at Lincoln High School where he's taught for the last 13 years. "It's a real wake-up to building safety and what can be put in place. Unfortunately, we're constantly reminded of possible volatile moments we have to be prepared for."
Maly said Lincoln High School has seen changes in the way he and other instructors have adapted to the devastating events at schools across the country. Schools now put significantly more effort in talking to students, identifying students that may be struggling and getting them the help they need.
Tracking grades and attendance are just two of the ways staff is able to follow up on a student. Maly said there has to be a healthy relationship between teacher and student. "I find that when students understand that you will respect them and that respect is reciprocated, I think that opens a lot of doors."
Maly said all teachers are trained on how to handle potentially life-threatening situations in the school environment. Where Lincoln has really grown is the ability to identify and work with students in trouble.
"I think that discourse about safety in schools is imperative and the need to keep staff and students safe in these buildings is really of great importance. Lincoln needs to continue to work towards providing that."