School Environment

Topics: High school, School violence, School shooting Pages: 7 (1366 words) Published: September 8, 2014

School Environment

Grand Canyon University EDA-575

August 27, 2014


My school is situated in an urban area. It is a residential section of Maryland that is less than 7 miles from Washington, D.C.. One of the main things that affect the community surrounding our school is gang violence. It only makes sense that the outside community would effect the inside community. “Due to the increasing recognition of the consequences of school violence schools are taking steps to reduce school violence” (Johnson, Burke, & Gielen, 2012, p. 92). The staff in my school works hard to lessen the effects of the outside community violence and keep the inside of our school violence free. Our shared vision of the school environment is to have it become a comfortable place where the students can take risks and feel supported. As a staff we strive every day to do our best by our students. We keep our school clean, well repaired, brightly decorated and reflective of our diversity. Through a grant sponsored by Wal-Mart a free breakfast is given to every student and every staff member. Our principal has used extra funds to provide the students with both an Art and a Technology teacher. Both of these positions are extras not funded by the school system and must be paid through her discretionary funds. The school community supports all of these initiatives because we want our school to be a place that students want to come to and want to learn in. The majority of the staff prides itself on the school environment and their part in it.

Johnson, Burke & Gielen say that six topics come up repeatedly when polling groups of students: “student behaviors, norms of behaviors, relationships with school staff, learning environment, school safety, and neighborhood environment” (2012, p. 97). Learning environment and neighborhood environment have been addressed in the previous paragraph. I will discuss the other four and talk about some problems I feel exist and ideas I have to provide a solution for those problems.

School safety has been a big concern for almost all school districts across our nation in recent years. It seems barely a few months go by in between reports of students bringing guns to school or school shootings taking place. My school has started several initiatives to combat these school safety issues. Shortly after the Connecticut school shooting we began to have school wide lockdown drills. Four to five times a year we practice what we would do if our school were ever to be involved in an active shooter situation. I have witnessed students’ fear and anxiety levels lower as a result of the knowledge that there is a plan in place and that everyone knows their part of that plan. Another thing we did at my school in response to the shooting incident was to have cameras installed in all hallways, all stairwells, and outside of the building. All of the cameras are equipped to record and the footage can be viewed live or after the fact on all the administration’s personal computers as well as our building supervisor’s computer. The last and final thing our school has implemented is a video camera door lock system. All the doors in the entire building are locked and equipped with a buzzer and a video camera. The person seeking to gain entry into our school building must looking into the camera, buzz the office and state the nature of their inquiry before the secretaries will buzz the door open. This keeps everyone, staff and students, much safer. One thing I think we are lacking that I have seen articles about is a way to prevent a trespasser, who has already gained access to the building, from getting access to the classrooms. I have seen at least two different types of inventions that can be used to make a classroom door almost impossible to open. I believe if the students knew we had one of those at our disposal it would make the feeling of safety...

References: Gulsen, C., & Gulenay, G. (2014). The principal and healthy school climate. Social
Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 4293-100.
Hemming, P. J. (2013). Spaces of spiritual citizenship: children’s relational and
emotional encounters with the everyday school environment. International
Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 18(1). 74-91.
Johnson, S., Burke, J., & Gielen, A. (2012). Urban students’ perceptions of the school
environments’s influence on school violence. Children & Schools, 34(2). 92-102.
O’Brennan, L. M., Waasdorp, T. E., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2014). Strengthening bullying
prevention through school staff connectedness. Journal of Educational
Psychology, 106(3), 870-880. Doi:10.1037/a0035957
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