Learn How School Principals Can Increase Safety and Security With This Free eBook!
- How to increase your campuses safety
- Utilizing technology to your advantage
- How to catch incidents before they occur with the right strategy
- Screening your visitors as they enter your campus
- Improving your school climate
- Finding the best approach to receive grant funding
Principals and school administrators are tasked with more than the education of the children that pass through their hallways. The school experience extends well beyond textbooks and homework. For students, it’s a place for personal growth and social interactions.
As the caretakers of the scholastic experience, the concerns of a principal are extensive and include the safety and well-being of students as well as attendance and performance of the entire student body. With a diverse student population, this can be a tall order.
It is not just hyperbole to say that a safe and nurturing environment is crucial to the success of all students. Studies have shown the critical nature of safety on student performance. Feeling unsafe, either due to direct or indirect violence while at school decreases participation, impacts learning potential, and leads to an increase in emotional problems. It also manifests symptoms of depression in students. These symptoms, in turn, interfere with how well students do in classes and can even result in lower graduation rates.
However, feeling unsafe at school may go well beyond what happens on campus. Research shows that students who feel generally unsafe in their lives bring that feeling with them into the classroom. Children who endure chronic poverty and in unsafe neighborhoods carry that burden wherever they go, even to school. Yet these causes are more difficult for an administrator to see.
Principals must also address appropriate levels of concern. There is a fine line to walk between addressing school security and safety concerns and appearing to promote an authoritarian-like atmosphere. Go too far and students become overwhelmed. The community, too, can become concerned about the significance of threats based on the steps administrators take to protect the student population.