The times they are a-changin’
The past several years have brought tremendous change, and we are all affected by it. Weather patterns have shifted and extremes are becoming the norm. The political climate continues to be contentious. Our news provides a daily dose of war and atrocity. People remark that there is an increased air of hostility and entitlement in our society. AI has become a gift and a challenge. Student mental health needs have skyrocketed.
And, school violence continues to plague us.
A few years ago, I decided to work in the schools again. While I have worked very hard to acquire and share my expertise in school safety, I wanted to be back in the daily flow of school staff and student life. Then, the pandemic forced yet another change. During the time I was working in the schools, and nominally at my consulting business, many more individuals had entered the field of school safety, working hard to lessen bullying and violence in our schools.
Why, then, do our schools continue to have significant safety problems?
A few things got me thinking about this….school shootings continue, and some have claimed high numbers of victims. Sometimes, we don’t even hear about a shooting that claims fewer victims, and when we do, we may find ourselves trying to suppress our anger and frustration when the news details the tragedy. We’re seeing Department of Justice reports finding that our schools are not as prepared as we had thought.
And this, I believe, is the scariest thing of all.
We’ve worked hard to put safety measures in place. We rehearse and review our safety plans. But, do we do that as often as we should? Are we double-checking our own plans when a new tragedy occurs, to make sure we really are doing all we can? Are we continuing our training, and that of our staff and substitutes? Have we grown weary of hearing about school safety? Have we become at all complacent over the years?
In all honesty, I think I have.
And, I’m betting that I’m not alone. A few school staff members have confided to me that they almost feel like they’re waving a white flag and giving up. There are other problems to deal with on a daily basis. Social media has such an outsized impact on students’ daily lives that we struggle to combat it.
More creative and intrusive ways of taunting and bullying continue to creep up, and we have to keep up.
Which is why I am sharing information with you again. Full retirement wasn’t that fun anyway, and there’s work to be done. I know that your inbox is overflowing and I don’t want to add to that. You are overworked and there aren’t enough hours in the day. But, I continue to gain subscribers on my website who want information, and I’m going to provide it.
You have my word, no more than 1-2 updates per month. If you want to stay on my mailing list, you don’t need to do a thing. If this information is no longer applicable to you, or you just don’t want to hear about school safety anymore, I understand. You can click on the “unsubscribe” link and there will be no hard feelings.
We’re fighting a tough battle, doing our best to keep our staff and students safe at all times. We are in this together, and I will share what I know and continue to learn, to try to make that burden just a little lighter for you.