A safe learning environment allows children to learn with ease. If a child feels unsafe, this will likely negatively influence their learning. Children struggle to learn when their needs aren’t being met.
Why is Education Seen as Unsafe?
There are many reasons why education is seen as unsafe. For example, violence has increased in schools. In addition, students are using digital platforms for learning, theft and bullying are rising. This all factors into an unsafe learning environment.
By keeping schools safe, we allow children to be in an environment that promotes social and creative learning.
Violence in schools:
Violence has started desensitizing many students. This causes them to feel that violence is a normal part of school life. Students often end up in physical fights at school. This is due to a lack of conflict resolution skills. Other students miss school often as they don’t feel safe.
Students have become more violent. There have been reports of students attacking teachers, security guards, and school personnel. These attacks often end in serious injury, and sometimes, death. In addition, these incidents often cause fear and anxiety in other students to rise. Staff often feel the effects of this environment as well. These kinds of attacks make school a psychologically distressing place to be.
The impact of digital learning on students:
With digital learning becoming the new norm, students are often exposed to more of the internet and social media as they should be. When children are online, they are usually more accessible targets for bullying. As many bullying can happen anonymously, their friends can confidently use things said. A lot of students report being cyberbullied in high school. Children in an environment where cyberbullying take place to have a higher risk for suicidal or self-harm behaviors. A big concern with students’ online presence is their vulnerability to predators. Adults often lure in unsuspecting children by using the internet and social media.
Today, it is easier for children to use the internet to gather all the information and pictures they need for a school project. They simply type their question into the search bar and up pops an answer. But, what happens when children look for information on damaging sites? We all know it is to click on a webpage thinking it is informative information, only to be bombarded with inappropriate pop-ups or ads. Think of children in a similar situation. As children are curious creatures, they’ll simply click on inappropriate content to learn more about it. This does not promote a safe learning environment.
Do I Need To Worry About my Child?
With everything going on in schools, you might be unsure if you should be worried about your child. In the case of bullying, your child might be afraid to speak up. They might also feel ashamed to come forward about anxiety they might be having about school safety.
Is Your Child Being Bullied? Here are the Signs:
- Your child has come home with torn clothes, missing books, or missing pieces of clothing.
- Your child often has unexplained cuts or bruises.
- Has few or no friends with whom they spend time.
- Seems afraid of going to school, often asking to stay home or making up excuses to stay home.
- Has a dull or depressed mood whenever they come home from school.
- Often complains of headaches, stomach aches, or other physical ailments.
- Has trouble sleeping or often has bad dreams.
- Has a sudden change in appetite.
- Appears more anxious and has low self-esteem.
If you ask your child about bullying, you might not get an honest answer. Children are often afraid to speak up against bullies. This is because they fear the bullying will become worse when confronted.
Instead, ask your child if they have friends they hang out with at school and if there are any students that they dislike. Be sure to ask them why they dislike this student.
You could also tell your child that you’ve read about bullying increasing in schools and if that is something happening in their school.
Be sure to tell your child that if they or one of their peers are being bullied, it’s necessary to report it.
Protecting your child from the dark side of the internet:
As we have mentioned before, the internet is no place for a child. There are simple ways to protect your child from inappropriate content and predators online.
- Get to know your parental browser controls:
Many browsers have a setting where you can filter out adult content. You can also opt to install a browser specifically for kids.
- Get to know your kid’s online friends:
If they are communicating with friends online, be sure to get to know them. Have an extensive stranger danger talk with them and explain the dangers of social media. Ask them to always be honest about who they talk to or if they get a new friend on social media. This will ensure that they feel safe in discussing any inappropriate messages they might be receiving.
- Be “share aware”:
This means making sure your child knows that certain information needs to remain private.
Be sure that they know the rules and that screen time is limited. Ensure your child is aware that the internet is for research purposes only. Try and keep them off social media for as long as possible.
Child Safety in Education:
School violence is still on the rise, so ensure your child is always kept safe and has all the information needed on bullying! You can do simple things to ensure your child’s safety in school.
6 simple things to keep your child safe at school:
- Learn the schools emergency procedures:
The school’s emergency numbers and plans are included in the school handbook and classes. Be sure to take note of this information with your child so that they know what to do in an emergency.
- Know the travel routes to and from school:
This is important for both you and your child to know. When an emergency arises, roads are often blocked. It’s important to know alternative routes.
- Know the school safety measures and follow them:
This could include wearing a visitor pass or being escorted by security. By following these rules, you are setting a good example for your child.
- Have a talk with your child about safety:
You need to be specific. Explain to them what instincts are. Talk about the uneasy and unexplainable feeling of fear and what to do when they feel this way.
Be sure that they know an alternative number in case you don’t pick up.
- Inform the school staff about health or emotional concerns you might have:
Keep teachers and the principal up to date with any allergies, disabilities, or emotional stress your child might be under. Also, be sure to bring up previous bullying incidents if there have been any.
Have a conversation with the principal about how you can help with school safety. Perhaps a neighborhood watch before and after school. Parents are often highly successful when it comes to ensuring school safety.
Keep them Safe
A safe school is necessary to support the academic success of children. They must have the opportunity to learn in a safe and nurturing environment. Whenever a school has strict policies on safety, students often have a better time learning. They socialize with one another easier, and violence decreases drastically.