LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The staff at Peakland Preschool advise parents and guardians to look critically at what a facility is doing in terms of safety, saying it’s more than keeping track of who is approved to pick up the child.
“Any outside door is locked at all times,” said Annie Williams, Director of Peakland Preschool. “This screen is on the front door. Not to mention at my desk, I have a clear view of the parking lot, so any cars that are coming, I can quickly see.”
Peakland Preschool in Peakland United Methodist Church takes child safety seriously.
“It was striking,” said John Vest, Pastor of Peakland United Methodist Church. “Out of all the places in the world, you want your church to be a safe place, and I felt really bad for the church. Mistakes happen. You can’t control everything, and it’s just a terrible, heart-wrenching situation.”
There are still things the facility does to increase safety, like keeping the play areas enclosed.
As the Lynchburg Police Department advised them last year, they also keep specific bushes and trees trimmed to help with visibility.
“Some people may be embarrassed to ask questions,” said Vest, “but it’s okay to ask. Do your people go through a criminal background check? Who is it that you will release a child to? Is there any moment through the day that a child is left unmonitored?”
“Are there monitors in the building,” said Williams. “Are there cameras outside? What are the teachers equipped with to call for help?”
“Absolutely any question that deals with the safety of your child is appropriate and ought to be asked,” said Vest.