The biggest concern parents have about letting their children finally attend school on their own is not how well they will do academically. Their biggest concern usually has nothing to do about academics. It is the little things in school that worry them. What happens if there’s a shootout, for example? What about if there’s an earthquake? These things make some parents delay letting their kids attend regular school. But you know as well as we do that delaying will not make these things any easier.
In truth, delaying their education will only make it harder for the kids later on. Instead of learning how to socialize and adjust to their new surroundings as early as now, they will do this when they already have preconceived notions about many things and people. Since parents cannot stop their kids from attending school or further delay their entrance into this new world, the next best thing for them to do is to know what non-academic issues they and their kids will face once they start school.
Physical Health Issues
One of the many things that parents worry about the most is their kids’ physical health. For example, some old school buildings were built in the 1950s. This means that their building materials have asbestos, which is bad for the health of the children. Normally, building inspectors should warn the administrators of the adverse effect of the building materials on the students. It would help to ask the school management if they already addressed these issues.
Another thing that parents worry about is the presence of pests such as ticks, ants, termites, rats, mosquitoes, bugs, and mice. How regularly does the school pay for pest and tick control services? This should be done all over the school every year. If the school cannot present to the parents proof that they had pest control service for the past year, reconsider enrolling your kids there. Pests bring a lot of health issues to kids.
Then, of course, there’s the problem of natural calamities such as typhoons, hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes. You never know when an earthquake will happen, for example. Sure, the school board will announce the cancellation of classes if there are typhoons and hurricanes, but what about other calamities such as fires and earthquakes? What if you live in an earthquake-prone state such as California? These are considerations that every parent must take into account when deciding which school their kids should attend.
While no one can prevent these natural catastrophes from happening, what is sure is that parents have the power to inspect, question, and monitor how the school is making sure the students are safe. Are their buildings earthquake-proof? Do they conduct regular fire drills? Do they have fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and exits?
Emotional and Mental Health Problems
And then there are things that most parents cannot see but eagle-eyed parents can. Emotional and mental health problems are very prevalent in a school setting, no matter the grade level. Students as young as seven are said to suffer from anxiety and depression because of peer pressure.
You must know the signs of bullying—both from the side of the bully and the bullied. Is your kid a bully? Is your child being bullied? Withdrawal from social interactions, loss of appetite, agitation, and general sadness are all causes of concern. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you think your kids suffer from bullying, depression, peer pressure, racism, and the like.
You’ve seen and heard those scary stories about school shootings, right? Whatever those made you think at that particular time, forget about it. There is nothing quite like the scare of parents who know their kids are in an active shooting situation. But the problem is, there’s no way to know when and if this will happen. The only thing you can do as a parent is to participate in school meetings, make sure that student grievances are heard, and push the school to invest in stringent security measures.
The world is a scary place for children. This is also the reason why some parents would rather homeschool their kids than send them to school. However, think about the consequences of them lacking social and personal interactions. What kind of life will that be only so you will be comfortable with the knowledge that they are safe in your home? They cannot be prisoners because you are afraid. You just need to look out for their best interest and make sure you’re sending them to a school that you trust.