In case you didn’t know, it is National Safe Schools Week. It is National Bullying Prevention Month. It is also National Ally Week (for LBGT students)….
So in the month of October, and this week in particular, schools should be the safest place in the world, right? Maybe — or maybe not.
The intentions behind a “National” XYZ day or week are mostly good. The general point is to “raise awareness” as many of the promotional descriptions say about such events.
But such days, weeks, or months associated with a lot of hoopla around school safety have always made me wonder: What about the rest of the year?
It is like posting signs with the words “Drug Free Zone” on one particular block of a city. Does this mean the next street over is a “Drug Filled Zone”?
“National” whatever days and months give activists and advocates an opportunity to try to get some media coverage and public attention for their cause. For a few, it may even mean a few extra bucks in their coffers from grants, donations, or other sources of external funding.
My point is not to slam these organizations or their intentions. Yet the real challenge is not to focus on school safety on one particular day, week, or month. The greatest challenge is to have an equally strong, if not stronger, focus on school safety day-to-day as a part each school’s day-to-day culture.
Enjoy and celebrate your “National” whatever day, week, or month. But six months from now, make sure you are just as enthusiastic, passionate, and committed to being a school safety advocate and evangelist when there is not a special label or name attached.
So who cares if it is National Safe Schools Week or National Bullying Prevention Month? We all can care.
Leadership on an issue doesn’t last only for one day, week, or month. It is ongoing. Six months from now when the “national” spotlight on the day is gone, make sure you care as much, if not more, about school safety as you do today.
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