School Safety

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    • 00:01

      [MUSIC PLAYING][School Safety]

    • 00:10

      PETER SMITH: Hello, I'm Peter Smith [Peter K Smith,Emeritus Professor in Psychology,Goldsmiths, University of London]I'm Emeritus Professor of Psychologyat Goldsmiths, University of London.This tutorial is going to be about school safetyand what we can do to improve school safety.It's going to be about violence and disruptive behaviorin schools, which can disrupt safety.It's going to be about the risks involved and the strategiesthat can be used to enhance school safety.

    • 00:33

      PETER SMITH [continued]: [Understanding school safety]Schools should normally be a safe environmentfor children and young people, and thisis what parents expect.And normally, of course, schools doprovide that kind of safe environment for children.But at times, things can happen to disrupt school safety.Violent behavior, children perhaps bringing weaponsinto school, disruptive behavior in the classroom,bullying, and cyberbullying by pupils of other pupils,these all disrupt school safety and have negative consequences.

    • 01:03

      PETER SMITH [continued]: If school is not a safe place, thiscan have negative effects on anyonein the school environment.Firstly, if pupils are experiencing violent behavior,disruptive behavior in the school,this would affect their school work.You're not going to be able to concentrate properlyon your academic work if you're being disruptedin the classroom, if you're worried about being bulliedin the playground, or expect violent behaviorto be happening outside in the corridorsor in the school grounds.

    • 01:34

      PETER SMITH [continued]: Secondly, there's actual risk of physical harm to other peoplesor to teachers.If someone's bringing weapons into schooland then using them or threatening to use themand using them, then physical harm can result.And we obviously have had cases off severe physical harm, evenpeople being killed, pupils or teachers being killedby other pupils in the past.

    • 01:57

      PETER SMITH [continued]: So that's an important this to be aware of.[School safety, policies and strategies]Now, what can we do about school safety?Firstly of course, a school shouldhave a good policy about behavior such as bullying,an anti-bullying policy should be in place.And there's likely to be a behavior policy too,in a more general sense, which will give guidanceas to what kind of behavior is acceptable in the school.

    • 02:20

      PETER SMITH [continued]: And this policy should be acted on.It's all quite well to have a policy there,but it needs to be acted on and seento be acted on by the pupils, so that pupilshave confidence in this.And so the parents have confidence in using that policyif their child is experiencing unsafe environment at school.Secondly, there needs to be good supervision in the corridorsand in the playgrounds, especially when pupils are outfor the playground breaks.

    • 02:46

      PETER SMITH [continued]: There needs to be effective supervision of what's going on.And that can be helped by organizing activitiesfor those pupils who perhaps are not sure what to be doing.It could be pupils who are at risk of being bulliedand need perhaps to have the opportunityof more organized sessions or games they can go to.And it could also be useful for those pupils whomight be tempted into bullying others,through boredom, for example, if they can be given some moreconstructive activities or things to look forward toin the break times.

    • 03:15

      PETER SMITH [continued]: Another kind of strategy is what onedoes about the possibility of pupils bringingknives or guns into school.And this obviously shouldn't be allowed.There is a question about how thoroughlyand intrusively, if you like, one controls for this as pupilscome to school.

    • 03:37

      PETER SMITH [continued]: One school of thought is you needto be very thorough about this.You might be using metal detectors.You might be confiscating any weaponsthat are coming to school.Another school of thought is the actual sortof ethos of the school is important, too.Are you a trusting school or not.And do you have good relationships in the school.And it can endanger good relationships and ethosof the school if you have a very intrusive systemfor looking for knives and weapons that come into school.

    • 04:06

      PETER SMITH [continued]: The same sort of philosophical differences I thinkcome into allowing people into the school grounds, perhapspeople who are not authorized.Do you have a very strong gating system,or are you more open to people coming into the school.There's not an easy answer to this.I think it very much depends on the philosophy of the school,on the situation that school is in,what sort of experiences it has had.

    • 04:28

      PETER SMITH [continued]: And I think schools here have to beguided by how they feel best to copewith these sorts of situations.[Quality circles]One procedure that schools might find usefulwhen they're thinking about school safetyis quality circles.Quality circles are run on a class basis.Within the class, children are broken upinto groups of perhaps five.

    • 04:51

      PETER SMITH [continued]: So you might have six groups of five pupils whoare each going to meet one period a week for a term.And they'll meet in these small groupsto deal with a particular kind of issue or problem.And we might have an issue of how do weimprove school safety?And what you're going to do for the qualitycircles is get the pupil's own ideas about this.

    • 05:12

      PETER SMITH [continued]: And it starts off first with a group formation.They've got their group, and theymight make up a little logo for themselvesand get to know each other.Then they're going to do some fact finding.So they might be doing a survey through the school of,do you feel safe?Where do you feel safe?Why don't you feel safe?What do you think we might do about it?So they'll gather facts in this way,and then later on through the term they'llbe talking about what can we do based on this knowledgeto suggest ways of improving school safety.

    • 05:38

      PETER SMITH [continued]: And they're going to come up with some suggestions.And by the end of the term, each small group, each qualitycircle, will come up with perhaps twoor three concrete suggestions.This is what we might do to improve school safety.And that's coming from the pupils themselves.What the teacher does is undertake to listenconstructively to these suggestions.They may or they may not be useful to implement,but they're going to be listened to with respect.

    • 06:02

      PETER SMITH [continued]: And generally speaking, these qualities circleswill come up with some quite interesting ideasthat are well tailored to the situationthat that school is in.So it's a good way of finding outwhat's going on in the school, what the concerns of the pupilsare, and it can be quite useful in gettingsome positive suggestions as well.[Key points; understanding school safety,what strategies and policies are in place, quality circles]So in summary, we've looked at school safety,and we've looked at issues like violent behavior,bringing weapons into schools, bullying, disruptive behaviorin classrooms, all of these can endanger school safetyand have a deleterious effect, both on academic performanceand on the ethos of the school, the well-being of pupils.

    • 06:47

      PETER SMITH [continued]: And indeed, sometimes these behaviorscan result in physical harm, or even occasionallydeath to those involved.So it's very important to encourage school safety.This could be done through an effective behaviorpolicy that's seen to be implementedand is well known to everyone in the school.

    • 07:07

      PETER SMITH [continued]: It's important to have good supervisionof the playground and corridors and throughout the schoolgrounds.And there may be a need for some sort of detectionsystem for weapons.There may be a need to scrutinize who'scoming into the school as well.And it's important, I think, to get ideas,to involve the pupils themselves in improving school safety.

    • 07:28

      PETER SMITH [continued]: One way I've suggested here is to use quality circles, wherepupils themselves find out about the issuesand come up with suggestions to improve safety in school.

School Safety

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Peter Smith discusses the importance of school safety and describes sound policies and strategies. He also explains ways to get students involved in improving school safety.

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School Safety

Peter Smith discusses the importance of school safety and describes sound policies and strategies. He also explains ways to get students involved in improving school safety.

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