The Safest Cities to Raise Children (Part III)

 

Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Cedarburg boasts a low violent crime rate. That, united with excellent schools and kid-friendly amenities such as the Interurban Trail, make this town a good choice for parents looking to give their children some extra freedom.

Greenwich, Connecticut

These cities will give you peace of mind when it comes to keeping your children safe.

This quaint New England town topped our list of the safest cities to raise a child. Greenwich has been on the list before as a safe place for families. One of our standards, quality education, is also the main priority for Greenwich residents as evidenced by a huge donation to a scholarship fund for children of local nurses, police officers, and firefighters.

City of Fairfax, Virginia

Children who travel around the City of Fairfax on two wheels stay safe with aid from the city’s yearly Kids Safety Day. This event, given by the Fairfax Police Department, offers bike safety inspections and a bike cone course in which children can test their agility and skills.

Vienna, Virginia

Near Washington, DC, and the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, there are lots of cultures available to families in Vienna. But there’s plenty to do right in the center of town. Programs such as the new Kids on the Green concert series is to entertain the town’s youngsters, giving children safe activities.

Baraboo, Wisconsin

Baraboo is proactive when it comes to keeping its children safe. The city’s schools are looking to get a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice to enhance school safety in the wake of recent school shootings. Funds would be used to provide safety and communication system upgrades for school buildings and trauma care training.

Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

This quaint community hosts lots of yearly events, with activities slated for almost every month of the year. Residents of any age will enjoy Beaver Dam’s well-kept parks, low crime rates, and friendly neighborhoods.

 

The Safest Cities to Raise Children (Part II)



 

Village of Shorewood, Wisconsin

In the Village of Shorewood, your odds of falling victim to a violent crime is less than one in 1,000. Lifetime residents can attest to the culture of safety in this suburb of Milwaukee.

Exeter, New Hampshire

These towns have a great sense of community.

Who better to tell us why Exeter is a great town for children than one of the children themselves?

“It is not unusual to find my friends and I walking around downtown Exeter, browsing the boutiques or hitting up Stillwells for the top-quality ice cream.” “The atmosphere of the town is very welcoming and full of happy folks who love and share a sense of solidarity for their town.”

Monroe, Wisconsin

Summer is prime time for children to get out and enjoy the break from school. Monroe ensures those children have lots of activities to keep them entertained. The Monroe Public Library has numerous summer programs like Storytime at the Farmer’s Market and Musical Movie Mondays.

Milford, New Hampshire

Those who call Milford home can’t stop chatting about how safe they feel and the friendly presence of law enforcement. Milford officers are more likely to be found playing baseball or hanging out at the park than chasing down crooks due to the low crime rate and sense of community that keeps people looking out for one another.

Claremont, New Hampshire

Located on the banks of the Sugar and Connecticut Rivers, Claremont is an outdoor lover’s paradise. There are lots of parks and hiking trails for children to explore. Though, we urge parents to keep water safety in mind at all times with such easy access to the town’s rivers.

Burlington, Wisconsin

We discovered that teens tend to see the Burlington pace a bit slow, which strengthens our assessment of how safe this Wisconsin city is. Children of any age like an impressive park system, short walks to local schools, and the yearly ChocolateFest that celebrates the local Nestlé chocolate factory.

The Safest Cities to Raise Children (Part I)

These towns are some of the safest choices to raise your children.

Our safest cities are highlighted below as well as every city’s violent crime rate, walkability score, and overall child safety score, which is a mixture of eight factors we considered. It is crucial to note that each city on the list is below the national average for violent crimes. Also, we included some runner-up cities to provide the safest cities to raise a free-range child.

Easton, Maryland

Maryland has been at the heart of the free-range parenting conversation, so it’s not any surprise that our safest city to raise children is in Maryland. Easton has small-town charm, and with over 230 acres of parks and open spaces, there is lots of room for adventurous children to safely explore.

Keene, New Hampshire

From the yearly Pumpkin Festival to the lighting of the community Christmas Tree in the town square, Keene has a quintessential New England nostalgia. And in a city where everyone knows everyone (as stated by a lifetime resident), children are safe to enjoy all that Keene has to offer.

Takoma Park, Maryland

This city has a town arborist and its own poet laureate, but Takoma Park’s assets aren’t limited to culture and cultivation. Folks take care of one another here. The city has a crew named the Snow Angels who dig out neighbors buried under the city’s thirteen inches of yearly snowfall. It’s that sort of community spirit that helped Takoma Park have a spot on our list.

Havre de Grace, Maryland

This bayside town has been distinguished many times as one of the best little towns in the nation. It caught our attention with its amazing parks, schools, and family-oriented values. Havre de Grace wants all children to feel included, as obvious by an all-access playground opened in August ‘17.

The Safest States to Raise Children

 

New Hampshire is the top state to raise children in the nation while Louisiana is the worst based on a review website created by home security experts.

Keeping our children safe is our top priority as a parent.

Keeping children safe is a parent’s main priority. Despite crime rates being lower overall, the 24-hour news cycle can have you feeling like trouble is waiting around every corner. The positive news is that national crime rates are lower than they were when most of us were growing up. As a matter of fact, violent crime dropped by close to 50% between ‘93 and ‘16.

But that doesn’t mean you’re not going to fret. That’s why SafeWise took a closer look at safety factors and trends before selecting this year’s safest cities to raise a kid. Due to current news about free-range parenting, Utah passed a law, we decided to factor that parenting style into our studies. We dug deep into many factors to help us detect the safest cities to raise children.

Here’s a look at some of our results:

  • Wisconsin has safer cities for free-range children than any other state.
  • New Jersey has ten cities on our list, which is around 20% of our top fifty.
  • New Hampshire pulls ahead when we examine the top 30 safest states.
  • There are only two cities in the western US on our list: Bountiful, UT, and Evanston, WY.
  • Only two cities made the list two years in a row: Greenwich, CT, and Ridgefield, CT.
  • Our top fifty safest cities come from just ten states. That’s just 20% of the country.
  • All our safest cities are in states with snow—no beach cities apparently! (Unless it’s one of the Great Lakes.)
  • Only two of the states with cities in our top thirty had over two Amber Alerts in 2017: Utah (six) and Virginia (five).

 

The Safest States in the US

 

There might be no worse feeling than feeling in danger or insecure, whether that be financial trouble, fear for one’s life, or lying in the path of a storm. With numerous safety criteria in mind, though, the New England region of the United States seems idyllic. Most of New England’s rural and urban areas have low crime rates.

Moreover, the region isn’t as prone to many sorts of natural disasters as are other parts of the U.S. It is home to some of the nation’s best educational institutions and sees some of the highest quality of life and median incomes of anywhere else in the nation.

Minnesota was deemed the overall safest state in the United States.

Some states have a way higher rate of violent crimes than others. Maine has the lowest rate of around 120 violent crimes per 100,000 people, while Alaska has close to 830 per 100,000 people.

These states provide their citizens with the safest communities.

Rhode Island 

Population: 1.06 million

Low violent crime rank: 9

Low property crime rank: 9

Massachusetts

Population: 6.86 million

Low violent crime rank: 26

Low property crime rank: 3

Wyoming

Population: 579,315

Low violent crime rank: 10

Low property crime rank: 14

Connecticut

Population: 3.59 million

Low violent crime rank: 7

Low property crime rank: 10

Virginia

Population: 8.47 million

Low violent crime rank: 4

Low property crime rank: 11

Maine

Population: 1.34 million

Low violent crime rank: 1

Low property crime rank: 4

 

Idaho

Population: 1.72 million

Low violent crime rank: 6

Low property crime rank: 7

 

New Jersey

Population: 9 million

Low violent crime rank: 8

Low property crime rank: 6

 

New Hampshire

Population: 1.34 million

Low violent crime rank: 3

Low property crime rank: 1

 

Vermont

Population: 623,657

Low violent crime rank: 2

Low property crime rank: 2

According to these overall scores, Minnesota has deemed the safest state in the US while Mississippi is last.

 

 

 

Safest Colleges in US (Part I)

Protecting our children doesn’t stop when they go to college. We want to make sure that they are safe while they earn their degrees.

College years should be the most magical time in a person’s life. From falling in love parties, and changing majors to the experience of pressure and stress that guarantees friends for life, celebrating successes, and learning from failures. Having a safe environment to do this is of the utmost importance.

And for parents sending their children off to college, safety is typically a chief concern. It is usually the first time that their children are on their own, living independently outside of the home. Picking a school with a good reputation for security and a low possibility for dangerous threats allows parents to breathe easier once their son or daughter is off to earn a degree.

Here is my list of the Safest Colleges in America

Due to the numerous variables in play like location, campus size, and culture, coming up with a fair and accurate ranking is a challenge. Some may say that campuses that rank high on a safety list have better PR in place instead of really being safer.

While these are real concerns (it is always suggested that prospective students and their parents visit the colleges to see and feel the campuses for themselves), I do feel that we have been able to rank objectively and fairly. Not only have we used data submitted to the FBI, but we have also looked over this data relative to the surrounding area of the campus.

Lincoln Memorial University

Harrogate, Tennessee

Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee takes a wide range of measures to guarantee campus safety. They’re campus police and security team providing services such as:

  • Door locks and unlocks
  • Patrols
  • After hours escort service
  • Camera monitoring
  • Dispatching for both emergency and non-emergency situations

 

Also, students can call an anonymous tip line to report to the campus police. Besides submitting crime reports to the FBI, they have an annual security report and perform Sex Offender Registry searches.

Safest Colleges in US (Part II)

 

South Georgia State College

You can rest easier knowing that you’re children are attending a safe college like these.

Douglas, Georgia

To guarantee safety, South Georgia State College has created the Live Safe security app which offers a simple way of communicating campus safety problems. It has features that encourage safety and awareness on campus. ​From the app, students can straightway contact the campus police with video, text, photo, or audio. The Go Safe feature provides access to security escorts and safe walks on campus. ​With the app, students also have access to alerts and a range of resources enhancing security.

Elon University

Elon, North Carolina

The security staff of Elon University lives by a set of standards that guarantee the campus is safe and enjoyable for all who study, live, and work there:

  • ​All people should be treated with respect and dignity.
  • Officers must strive to garner the community’s trust by the way in which they conduct themselves.
  • The property, life, and human rights of all people must be protected.
  • An open exchange of ideas and information benefits both our department and the University community.
  • Elon University and every member of the department must support the mission for it to be achieved.
  • Every department must strive to be receptive, progressive, and innovative in the performance of their duties.

Jackson State Community College

Jackson, Tennessee

The website of Jackson State Community College has several resources on security and safety including yearly reports from the past four years. One may also find reading material about:

  • Personal Safety
  • Emergency Management Guidelines
  • Domestic Violence Information
  • Possession and Use of Weapons

 

John Wood Community College

QUINCY, ILLINOIS

John Wood Community College is a tiny campus in Quincy, Illinois. It is a two-year, open admissions college, ranking as one of the safest in the nation. The college has a 100% acceptance rate and a 50% graduation rate. Of all the graduates, over 85% are employed within two years of graduation.

 

Should Teachers Carry Guns? (Part III)  

 

Many educators think carrying a concealed weapon is a bad idea, including school shooting survivors themselves.

Some teachers who were involved in school shootings disagree with being armed on campus.

Second-grade teacher Abbey Clements was hiding with her students at Sandy Hook Elementary School as the school shooting was taking place. Clements had this to say: We’re not trained sharpshooters, we’re not trained, first responders. We are caregivers. I’m certain every teacher out there would say that we want school safety, but arming teachers isn’t the answer.”

“I feel we should have more security at school, but I don’t want our school to become a prison,” said Adeena Teres, a science teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the owner of a concealed-carry permit.

Jim Moffatt, a retired principal who was shot by a student at Fergus High School in Montana actively campaigns against legislative efforts to arm teachers.

While their numbers might be smaller than those who oppose carrying guns, there are teachers, principals, and superintendents who are for it.

Brian Teucke, an 8th-grade civics and economics teacher in Virginia said having a military background makes him somewhat of an aberration among his colleagues. He has a concealed-carry permit and would carry a gun to school.

His students, he said, have told him they would like that extra level of security. “I do think it’s reasonable for someone like me, but if you look at the landscape of US teachers as a whole, I don’t think it’s realistic,” he said.

Jeffrey Woofter, a former sheriff and the superintendent of West Virginia’s Barbour County school district, doesn’t think that every staff member should be armed. But he feels that trained staff should be able to carry concealed weapons or have access to concealed guns on campus.

“Schools are the same as sitting ducks since folks know that you aren’t allowed to carry in schools and that just makes them vulnerable,” Woofter said.

Should Teachers Carry Guns? (Part II)

There Are Already Teachers Carrying Guns at School

Many schools have gun-free zones, but the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act lets states authorize certain people to carry guns on school grounds.

Besides Texas, Wyoming, Utah, and South Dakota let staff members with certain caveats carry guns on school grounds.

A gun-control advocacy group, Everytown for Gun Safety, stated that 15 states allow a concealed firearm in schools. This year two dozen states are considering similar policies.

Arming teachers could cost a significant amount.

Having a Policy for Arming Teachers Could Be a Minefield

Among the questions schools who want to arm their staff have to answer:

  • Who is authorized to carry a firearm?
  • Where will the gun be stored?
  • Will armed employees get a bonus?

 

And that’s just the beginning.

There’s also the complex question of liability. Who will be responsible if something goes wrong? Many things could go awry as the weapon could accidentally discharge, a teacher could shoot an innocent bystander during an active-shooter situation, or a student could find or steal a teacher’s firearm.

Arming staff could be costly. A name-brand, top-quality, semi-automatic pistol or another type of handgun could cost anywhere between $500 to $1,200. And the notion of diverting already stretched resources to these and other costs such as firearms training could be a very hard sell. Maybe that’s why Texas is asking if its districts can tap into federal funding.

Who Opposes the Idea?

All the major principals, teachers, school employees, and school security organizations oppose guns in schools, except when carried by a security or police officer.

Not to mention most teachers and Americans oppose the idea.

A 2015 poll stated that 57% of all respondents were against letting staff and teachers carry guns in schools, though the idea was more acceptable among Republicans.

 

Should Teachers Carry Guns? (Part I)

There is controversy about whether or not teachers should carry guns at school to protect their students.

The notion of arming teachers or letting concealed-carry permit holders bring guns into schools is typically circulated after school attacks. It got attention after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The sheriff heading a Florida commission investigating the Parkland massacre said he felt trained, volunteer teachers, should have access to guns as a last line of defense in a school shooting.

Also, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made it clear that she feels districts have the flexibility to use federal funding to arm teachers.

But putting guns in the hands of school staff is frequently met with resistance from educators, who state they don’t want the responsibility of securing and carrying a firearm on top of their already taxing jobs. Numerous teachers feel that arming themselves would make schools less safe.

Who Supports the Idea?

For one, President Trump. At a speech just after the Parkland shooting, he stated that armed teachers with experience and training who love their students may be better able to protect them in an active shooting scenario than an armed police officer.

DeVos herself is not against arming educators. At her 2017 Senate confirmation hearing, she suggested teachers might need guns to fight potential grizzly bears. As the head of a federal school safety commission, she’s also been hearing from some supporters of the idea.

Not surprisingly, gun-rights advocates have long pushed for laws that let teachers carry weapons.

And education officials in Texas, where some teachers are already packing heat at school, are all for it. They were the ones who asked DeVos and her staff if certain federal funding can be used by school districts to pay for firearms training and firearms for school staff members.