Personalization, Not Equipment, Is Key to School Safety

NASSP statement on the National Center for Education Statistics Public School Safety and Discipline report

NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti issued the following statement on the report Public School Safety and Discipline: 2013–14, released today by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Student safety is the primary concern for all school leaders, and it is certainly encouraging to see data on school safety moving in a positive direction. But we have to be careful not to confuse safety with the mere absence of violence in schools. The data correlate with an increase in the use of security hardware, which, no doubt, contribute to school safety. The survey fails to recognize, however, the massive efforts schools undertake to create a personalized, nurturing climate. In a secure climate all students are not just free from violence, but well known by adults and made to feel like a valued part of the school community. As the Secret Service, FBI, and numerous researchers have confirmed over the years, the most effective way to prevent acts of violence in schools is to build trusting relationships with students and others in the community, so threats come to light quickly—and more importantly, so threats are deterred.

###

About NASSP

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States and 35 countries around the world. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high-quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.