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New Safety Protocol for High Schools

The Ministry of Public Education has released a new safety protocol for 10 risk situations, among them gunfights and suicide attempts
Students in class - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
03/01/2018
14:56
Teresa Moreno
Mexico City
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Pursuant to the latest Safety Protocols for federal public high schools, 10 specific situations are listed together with the guidelines of what professors, students, and principals shall do in case of:

  • Accidents during field trips.
  • Use or carrying of firearms and weapons inside the school.
  • Suicide attempt within the school facilities.
  • Gunfights in the vicinity of the school facilities.
  • Bullying.
  • Accidents or injuries within the school facilities.
  • Alcohol and drug consumption at the school facilities.
  • Deployment of armed or police forces.
  • School robbery.

The documents have been distributed by the Ministry of Public Education (SEP) is “virtually the entire country.”

Since 2010, a program was launched at elementary institutions so the academic community knew how to act in case of a situation of violence; now, the Ministry of Public Education is implementing these measures in several federal public high schools.

Keep calm, lie on the ground, keep away from doors or windows, remain quiet, and turn off your cell phone are some of the recommendations listed in case of gunfights.

“Minimum Safety Standard”

“These protocols are necessary and handy when managing risk situations that may arise as part of everyday life at school, considering the needs of all the different systems of High School education,” states the document.

The head of the Ministry of Public Education, Otto Granados, informed during the Third Ordinary Meeting of the National System for the Comprehensive Protection of Minors, last December 21, that the goal of the document is to allow children and teenagers to have access to an education in full compliance with their rights.

Granados said the new education model will enter into force and effect for the academic year 2018-2019 and the safety protocols are part of the synergy between education and health policies.

The document further states that “a protocol is a minimum safety standard that, taking into account the needs of the different education systems which, through the application of a specialized focus, represents a useful tool to structure, strengthen, and broaden the capabilities of schools to face several situations.”

Data from the most latest National Survey on Exclusion, Intolerance, and Violence in High School, prepared in 213, establishes that 38% of students felt their school was dangerous, 23% claimed their classmates brought weapons such as knives, blades or firearms to school, and 3% claimed they had been threatened with a weapon by other classmates.

Risk factors

According to a study by the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education on 3,101 high schools, 13% of the students claimed they didn't feel safe at school.

To a lesser degree, 5% felt pressured to do things against their will, 4% have suffered extortion, and 2% claimed they were victims of sexual harassment or rape.

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