My name is April and I am a sophomore in High School.
Today I want to talk about physical and emotional safety at school. This matters to me because I don’t feel safe at school and it’s important that all kids feel safe at school. Every week there are about 5 fights that happen at my school. It is hard to focus in class because all I could think about is what happened. It’s stressful that students keep recording it when they’re not supposed to and then during class they talk and watch the fights. This makes it hard to focus on learning.
One example is that last year I was walking to a class across the school and one guy decided to push another guy for no actual reason. We couldn’t get by and then my friend and I got stuck in the middle of the fight. It was hard to get to class on time.
One other time, someone got into a fight and then they dropped the knife. That was really scary. And then the day after somebody brought a gun. Because of how scary that was, it was hard to learn and focus.
As a response, the principal suspended the two people who started the fight. One of my friends got suspended and he didn’t even start the fight. The suspensions don’t really do anything, and the students fall behind. Many times, the teacher just yells at them, which made the situation even worse. And if they yell at them, they’re just going to keep fighting. There are also way too many cameras, and they keep adding even more, which is even less comfortable. It’s like when you’re walking in the hallways, there are people watching us everywhere. They still add cameras to see if they will stop the fight, but that doesn’t stop the fight, it makes the situation worse. They also have police officers, they don’t really do anything, they just stand there.
What the school currently does is not working. The kids fighting have some home problems which affect them, and they like to take it out on other people. We need to ask them why they do it, have a program to talk about, and have self-control classes. Supporting relationships, self-regulation, and well-being is the way to reduce fights and create safe schools.
The Safe and Supportive School Bill is so important because it gives districts and schools the ability to make programs to create safe schools for students like me and others. I hope you will support the Safe and Supportive School Bill.
“Supporting relationships, self-regulation, and well-being is the way to reduce fights and create safe schools.” —April
“Every week there are about 5 fights that happen at my school. It is hard to focus in class because all I could think about is what happened.” —April