Elementary students become ‘Safety Patrol’ in Prince Edward

Published 5:36 am Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Sometimes, the best teachers can be other students. That’s especially true when it comes to behavior and it’s something Prince Edward County Elementary staff wanted to use, to help build student leaders. That’s where the school’s new Safety Patrol program came in. 

This program is aimed at enhancing student leadership and fostering positive behavior in the hallways. This program also promotes safety awareness and provides opportunities for older students to exhibit responsibility, leadership and to be a part of the school’s culture of excellence. 

“The Safety Patrol was created to provide another leadership opportunity for students,” said Prince Edward Elementary Principal Teresa Vance. “It aligns with the [Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports] expectations to be safe, be responsible and be respectful.”

What is the Safety Patrol?

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This safety program is made up of a specially trained group of student leaders who will serve their peers as role models. Some of the responsibilities include welcoming their peers into the school and providing gentle reminders of the expectations in the halls throughout the day.

There are a few key objectives with the program including enhanced safety awareness as the students will take the initiative to make sure fellow students are practicing safe behaviors. This program will also promote leadership development as the older students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills as they enforce the “BE Rules” which are safe, be respectful and be responsible. 

Other objectives include giving a quick response to incidents as the safety patrol students will promptly report incidents to designated adults who will manage the situations for the more serious situations.  This program also gives students the opportunity to collaborate with law enforcement, including the elementary school’s resource officer, on best practices for safety.

“The school belongs to our students; therefore, they also have a responsibility to contribute to a positive environment,” said Vance. 

The Safety Patrol program’s implementation involved appropriate training, with guidance drawn from AAA’s nationally recognized school safety patrol program. Students part of the patrol will have badges and belts to distinguish them from other students. This will set them apart so that they are recognizable by their peers and to staff. Additionally, safety patrols will always be under adult supervision while fulfilling their duties and parental consent will be required for students to participate.

The first students to be installed as members of Safety Patrol took place on Friday, Aug. 18, including Sidney Clark, Alayna Clay, Aubre’ona Coleman, Aaliyah Douglas, Peter Euteneuer, Nevaeh Holman, Xia Johnson, Bryan Lascolette III, Autumn Marshall, Dakota Mitchell, Heer Patal, Mariano Siliezar, Gabriella Tharrington and Addison Zirkle.