One of the greatest balancing acts administrators perform is that between school security and culture.
On one hand, hardened security measures like metal detectors, cameras and armed guards can negatively impact a school's culture and environment as a warm, welcoming space for learning by creating a prison-like atmosphere instead. There's also an ever-growing body of statistics and research showing that "zero-tolerance" disciplinary measures have pushed many students into the criminal justice system, and that tactics based in social-emotional learning, like restorative justice programs, are a better option for minor disciplinary issues.
Both can be polarizing topics, with approaches varying depending on where you're located. To help you sort through the discussion and prepare for these challenges as the school year begins, we've gathered a selection of our recent reporting.
Survey: Teachers want multiple options for responding to student misbehavior: The Thomas B. Fordham Institute's research shows that while teachers are supportive of new approaches to discipline, both black and white teachers still think suspension is sometimes appropriate.
How an alternative school improved behavioral outcomes with a neuroscience approach: The neuroscience-based models adopted by administrators at Pennsylvania's Valley Day School focus on building social support and understanding rather than using punitive responses.
More than half of Americans think teachers ill-equipped to handle disruptive students: Along with releasing survey results, experts gathered in Washington, D.C., to discuss the federal government's role in school discipline.
School resource officers need SEL training, experts say — but their preparation 'lacks consistency': SROs versed in social-emotional capacities are found to have a positive effect on schools. Now, more states want to require SEL training.
SXSW EDU 2019: Making school safety more proactive and teaching students to learn from failure: The final full day of Austin's ed innovation gathering included a discussion on steps administrators should take to make their schools safe, along with Reconstruction's lasting impacts and a handful of big announcements.
To what extent are districts, schools liable for students' safety? Here's how the courts have weighed in and what their decisions mean for school accountability.
The 50 States of Education Policy: February marks strides in school safety, funding: The one-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting and persisting teacher activism spurred major proposals, while politicians also prioritized other topics, such as school funding.