YOU CAN'T MANAGE RISK IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR SCHOOL OR DURING SCHOOL SPONSORED ACTIVITIES...???
Background. In Feb 2011 at Bridgeport, CT, the family of a 12 year old Wilton girl who suffered permanent injuries in March 2009 during cheerleading practice has filed a negligence suit against her coach and a youth football league. The lawsuit alleges that the cheerleading coach and the Wilton Youth Football league permitted her and her teammates to engage in a manuever beyond their capabilities. While their is no present indication the lawsuit is being filed against the school or school district, it none-the-less brings up natural questions for school leadership, athletic directors, coaches, after school club supervisors, and anyone affiliated with extra-curricular activities.
- Identify the Risks in the Activities That Take Place.
- Rate the Risks (Low, Medium, High)
- Identify the Steps To Take to Mitigate the Risks
Points for Consideration:
- Many school leaders do not know what activities are taking place at their school on a daily basis?
- The don't possess a tool (detailed school calendar with activities & events) to manage the information.
- This tool allows them to prioritize their supervisory focus for selected activities.
- Many school leaders and extracurricular adult supervisors have not analyzed the RISKs associated with the school or school sponsored activities that they will be held liable for.
- If they haven't analyzed the Activity RISKs then they haven't synthesized steps to MITIGATE those RISKs.
- If you think your school has a handle on managing RISK, here are a few sample questions you may wan't to ask:
- Who specifically checks to ensure the sports physicals and or health risk screening forms are complete and read by coaches, and medical professionals?
- Just because a student has a sports physical doesn't mean the coaches know what is on it in the way of possible medical issues.
- Is there a list of the daily medications required to be taken by the students in your school?
- Who is tracking to ensure these medications are being taken?
- Who tracks the weather during football summer workouts at the school, before school starts?
- What are the guidelines for duration of practice and cooling off players during hot weather workouts?
- What is the concussion policy in regards to sports? Are coaches, players, and parents educated about this?
- Does your band Color Guard or JROTC spin or throw and catch drill rifles?
- Has their been an act of violence at the school you are visiting for a sporting event?
- Are their cheerleading or dance team manuevers which are not recommended?
- Who is monitoring the weight room during off season and season workouts?
- Does your school have an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) available?
YOU "MAKE YOUR LUCK" BY BEING CONCERNED ABOUT SCHOOL SAFETY AND SECURITY, BEING AWARE OF WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE ASSOCIATED RISKS AT SCHOOL, AND CREATING A MINDSET IN EVERYONE (School Leaders, Athletic Directors, School Nurse, Parents, Students, Coaches, and Club Supervisors) TO MITIGATE THOSE RISKS.