Schools Need to Prioritize Student Voices, Latest ‘State of School Safety’ Report Finds
Safe and Sound Schools delivers State of School Safety Report 2019, detailing the latest information about school safety issues and recommendations on June 11, 2019
Newtown, Conn. – June 11, 2019 – Safe and Sound Schools, a national school safety non-profit, today released its State of School Safety Report 2019 in collaboration with Boston University College of Communication. The report includes contributions to analysis and interpretation from national experts across six key areas: mental and behavioral health; health and wellness; physical environment; school law, policy, and finance; culture, climate, and community; and operations and emergency management.
“Our mission is to protect every school and every student, every day,” said Michele Gay, co-founder and executive director of Safe and Sound Schools. “The State of School Safety Report furthers that mission each year. With the support of faculty and students at Boston University College of Communication, we were able to conduct nationally-fielded surveys and gain a deeper understanding of the current views on school safety from all parties involved. We hope that the 2019 Report will provide more insight into the progress our school communities have made, but more importantly, patterns that point to where we are falling short on a national level.”
Safe and Sound Schools surveyed perceptions of school safety among five groups: students in middle and high school, parents, educators, public safety officials, and community members. This report’s findings identify several school safety issues that need to be addressed.
In the results pertaining to student feedback, students and educators were asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement, “The school takes student feedback on school safety seriously.” Opinions from the responding students and educators differed greatly.
While 80 percent of educators surveyed agreed with the statement, only 27 percent of students felt that student feedback on school safety is taken seriously. In fact, 60 percent of students disagree, and feel that their feedback is not taken into consideration by schools.
These responses are consistent with the 2018 State of School Safety Report, suggesting a lack of progress in this area. The data points to the imperative for school administrators to prioritize student engagement in the planning process for safety preparedness – not solely in the activities or drills. Students are almost universally present at school safety incidents, and should be part of the planning for emergency response.
In addition to survey data and further exploration of school safety issues, the State of School Safety Report 2019 provides strategic recommendations and steps schools can take to close the gap between stakeholder perceptions to improve school safety.
For more information, view the full ‘State of School Safety’ Report 2019.
A donation from Bark helped fund the Safe and Sound Schools team’s time to review results, coordinate external reviews, and prepare the final report. Status Solutions supported the presentation and distribution of this research.
About Safe and Sound Schools
Michele Gay and Alissa Parker founded Safe and Sound Schools in 2013, following the tragic deaths of their children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Safe and Sound Schools works with school communities and mental health, law enforcement, and safety professionals to create and ensure the safest possible learning environment for all youth. The non-profit organization delivers crisis-prevention, response, and recovery programs, tools, and resources, backed by national experts, to educate all members of the school community, from students and parents, to teachers and administrators, to law enforcement and local leaders. Winner of the 2015 New England Business Association Innovation Award for nonprofits, Safe and Sound Schools continues to answer the growing needs of school communities with custom programs, assessments, and training, reaching schools in every state in the country. For more information, visit safeandsoundschools.org.
Safe and Sound Schools