Safe spaces in schools should always be available.

Dalton Roberts, Reporter

When the two biggest problems with teenagers are suicide and fears of school shootings, why do schools do so little to help students, like having a “safe space” for only a week, especially after such traumatic events? 

Students begin to think that schools don’t care about them when, for suicide prevention week, the most they did was at lunch have Lifesavers with a sticker stapled to them that said: “Suicide is not an option” and have a “safe space” up for a week. Most of the students took the Lifesavers and put the stickers in the trash. As an administrator, teacher, and student, it should feel like you have to do more because that is a sign that people are ignoring today’s problems.

When school shootings happen, wearing the school’s colors is ok but makes more of an attempt to show solidarity by having a fundraiser for the injured that need it. There is more people can do for each other than wear school colors. It just shows that the most you are willing to do as school administrators are put on the colors of the schools for a single day. 

Why should the safe space be taken down just because the week is over and adult presence is down? It could be kept up for the students that need it and don’t have the confidence to talk to counselors that they don’t know because they don’t have a relationship with them. Students can talk to each other there because they know they aren’t alone on the matter. 

Better ways to raise awareness about events are by reaching out to your students and asking them questions. This shows that you are willing to ask each student individually. It doesn’t have to be just counselors. Having teachers, coaches, and principals who know the kids helps because the students know them and will talk to them because they feel comfortable. You can show that you are willing to go the extra mile to help us.

The reason students don’t trust teachers is that they feel that if they talk to them or disagree with the school they could get sent to the counselors because the teacher said: “they are having a hard time with something.” When in reality, the student only voiced their opinion and the teacher used their power and shut them down. Students second guess voicing their opinion or getting help from the teacher because they won’t know what the teacher’s reaction can be. They could be reasonable and talk through it, pretend as they listen, then send them to a counselor, or just yell at them and send them to a principal. 

When a student is going through something like death for family or friends, bad news, or mental health is down, the last thing they want to do is school because the environment isn’t good for them, even on a good day. People are never there for them if they need it and teachers pile on homework in 7 different classes that they are always expected to do. The most we get is 2 days extra to turn something in but the work will just pile on. There is never a place to unwind in school, it’s all work and it never will change because the administrators won’t know about it or do anything about it to help them.

Schools should give students a permanent safe space for when they are in need of it. There can be other students there to talk or students can go by themselves but this shouldn’t go away just because the event passes. It takes a certain amount of time to cope or get better for certain people and schools should know that and not set a deadline for a place to be safe and think or talk to other students.