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Why is School Safety Important?

If Academic Achievement is Your Goal, School Safety & Student Well-being Must Be Your Priority

Why is school safety important? Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs outlines the fundamental human requirements, with each need forming the foundation for higher-level cognitive and personal growth. Conversely, Bloom’s taxonomy primarily focuses on the process of learning and development.

The concept of “Maslow before Bloom” emphasizes the idea that students must have their basic needs met—including physical, social, and emotional safety—before they can effectively engage in academic learning. When students grapple with hunger, bullying, or trauma, their brains are not biologically ready to handle advanced, higher-order learning. Similarly, an unsafe environment negatively impacts students’ mental health.

The connection between mental health and academic success is evident in a report by the national nonprofit YouthTruth. Middle and high school students identified depression, stress, and anxiety as major barriers to learning, leading to a decline in both academic achievement and overall well-being.

In essence, when students do not feel safe, their mental health suffers, negatively impacting their academic performance. To thrive academically, emotionally, and socially, students require a safe and supportive school environment as the foundation for success.

The Need for Safer School Environments

The need for a secure learning environment is vital in shaping the long-term success of our students, both at school and in the communities they inhabit. Amid rising concerns over self-harm, violence, and weapons on K-12 campuses, ensuring school safety has become a critical imperative.

According to recent data:

  • In 2022 alone, there were more than 300 incidents of gun violence on school campuses, resulting in the highest number of casualties thus far.
  • More than 4,000 anonymous tips per week are coming into school tip lines, with the most common tips relating to self-harm and weapons. 
  • Across more than 33 million online school and social media alerts, alerts related to self-harm are up 51% year-over-year, compared to the 25% increase year-over-year in alerts related to weapons and harm to others. 

“The data is there. The communities surrounding our K-12 schools have a responsibility to act on these insights. If we want to stop the next mass shooting, the next suicide or the next child to drop out of school, we must commit ourselves to doing more. Every child should be able to experience each school day without fear. Zero incidents is what we strive for at Navigate360. Doing anything less is simply not an option.”

— JP Guilbault, Cheif Executive Officer of Navigate360.

Physical safety measures are crucial, but fostering an environment where students feel safe, supported, and nurtured is equally important. By uniting efforts and prioritizing school safety, we can create an environment conducive to learning and personal growth, empowering students to reach their full potential academically, emotionally, and socially. Only by taking decisive action can we ensure a brighter and safer future for our youth. 

Are We Truly Prepared to Act?

Despite the growing number of alerts concerning emotional and physical harm among students, roughly half (only 56%) of public schools moderately or strongly agree that they can effectively provide mental health services to students in need. This statistic raises important questions about our readiness to address the well-being of our students. Regardless of the size or location of school districts—whether they are large, mid-sized, small, urban, or rural—there remains considerable progress to be made in adequately preparing to ensure both the physical safety and emotional health of our students. 

The task of creating safe and healthy school environments is undeniably complex, encompassing multifaceted challenges that continually evolve across the realms of physical, psychological, and digital threats. Achieving comprehensive school safety demands a well-rounded framework comprising technology, training, education, and community engagement, all centered around meeting the needs of the whole child. Each layer of support must be dedicated to safeguarding students’ well-being, fostering their development, and promoting both personal and academic success. 

As educators, parents, and community members, it is our collective responsibility to address these issues head-on. By investing in the resources and training necessary to bolster school safety, we can ensure that our schools become safe havens for all children, nurturing environments where they can flourish and reach their fullest potential. We must commit to protecting the future of our students and providing them with the safe and supportive learning environments they deserve. Only through concerted efforts and a united approach can we create lasting positive change in the lives of our young learners. 

Navigate360 Empowers People, Schools, and Communities to Stay Safe and Thrive–Physically, Socially, and Emotionally

It takes more than siloed point solutions to care for the whole child and the schools and communities that surround them. Navigate360’s school safety solutions provide you with accessible, integrated tools necessary to save and enhance lives.

Download The Ultimate Guide to Whole-Child Safety, Wellness & Success in K-12 Schools to learn how Navigate360’s full spectrum of school safety solutions, including mental health and wellness, threat detection and prevention, and safety management and preparedness, work together to foster a safe and positive school culture.

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