School safety is a common topic today, although many who speak about it do not define the term. I was recently part of a teacher feedback forum where the topics was selected by the attendees. School safety was the No. 1 topic of the group. The participants were asked to define what school safety meant to them. The participants’ answer was, “the physical safety of the teachers and students in the face of harm by another student.” They even stated there were not nearly as concerned about an outsider coming in to do harm inside the schools.
I can easily see what these teachers were talking about based on recent news reports. There have been news reports of a fight that resulted in EMS calls. There was a shooting in the parking lot of a high school after a football game. There have been fights that required pepper spray to disburse participants in school buildings and sporting events. We have even seen a recorded incident of a school administrator’s nose being broken by a student in a classroom followed by that student fighting the school resource officer (SRO).
What part is the violence in the schools playing on the departure of teachers from the classroom or bus drivers from the buses? What is the impact of violence on student’s learning? What can be done to remedy this situation? Obviously, what is being done at this point is not working.