“I don’t want it to happen again,” said Miah Cerrillo—a 4th grader in one of two adjoining Robb Elementary School classrooms where 19 children and two teachers died. You can watch her testimony provided by C-Span and read an article at Education Week, including her recorded testimony.
When Miah is asked if she feels safe, you see her shaking her head no and saying no. She is not alone in this feeling of safety. It is felt by students everywhere. They may not have experienced the level of trauma Miah has, but they have experienced some form of trauma to challenge safety.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Safety is a basic need. Most of our decisions and actions are based on meeting our basic needs. The drive to meet safety is essential for all of us. We may not be in constant danger, but our need to feel safe conditions to be completed.
Think of all of the ways safety is used in your life. We purchase insurance; we have smoke detectors, safety guidelines, safety reports on the vehicles we are buying, lifeguards on duty, safety glass, and safety warnings, and my list of examples could continue as you add to this list as well. Safety is an essential basic need.
Why then are we struggling with safety? If we know how important security is to our basic growth needs, why are we taking it away from the children, families, staff, and communities we serve?
Are we allowing biased, money, politics, and selfish “so-called” power to get in the way of making important decisions to bring safety to the center of what needs to be done to help get our foundation back before it cracks completely?
Steps to take toward safety
- In a recent post, I listed possible solutions to be taken.
- Connected Communities is a significant step forward in helping to build safety. Safety for individuals involves every aspect of their life. Where they live, work, shop, and go to school. We need our communities now more than ever to help to strengthen our foundation before it cracks completely. In the ‘50s, ‘60s, and early ‘70s, you could find neighborhoods and communities working together to support each other’s needs.
- A first step in helping to re-connect or connect neighborhoods and communities is creating a Connected Community Calendar. It is a fantastic way to communicate to everyone all of the offerings in the community families and friends can share. The offerings begin with placing all the school events first, then community events, and working together to coordinate to find ways to support each other. Keep costs free to low costs when possible. Invite your churches also to add activities. Add in as much as you can to support the needs of the community.
- Step up, Speak up, and get involved. We do not need protests, shouting voices, or other things. We need individuals to help do the work consistently in our efforts to implement the solutions we know will bring safety to our communities one step at a time.
Please message me if you need help with Connected Community Calendar and hosting a meeting to begin these talks. I have done this with success as we started to do this in the last district I worked in and worked to help bring families together with the community. It can work with stability and consistency. Inviting all organizations, churches, and associations helps ensure you are working together to help each other. When everyone knows what others are doing, more days can be filled with something for someone to do. Keeping everyone actively involved is a great way to keep the community going.
Building solid relationships is essential to school safety. Everyone knowing each other in the community helps us see through different lenses to act on any signs we see. Being proactive is what we need, not reactive.