Safe School Environments

Adopted March 1991 – Reviewed and deemed relevant May 2016 – Community Concerns Commission

California State PTA believes that every child is entitled to a safe and peaceful school environment that is orderly and empowering. It is a place in which students and staff are free to learn and teach without the threat of physical and psychological harm. It provides surroundings that are nonviolent, with clear behavioral expectations, and disciplinary policies that are consistently and fairly administered and which confer recognition for positive behavior. It has established policies for proactive security procedures, emergency response plans and the timely maintenance, cleanliness and attractive appearance of the campus and classrooms. Additionally, a safe and peaceful school environment has a crisis response plan in place to deal with unforeseen emergencies.

California State PTA believes that the four essential components that comprise a safe and peaceful school environment are: the strengths and experiences that students, teachers, administrators, and other school personnel bring to the school campus; the physical setting and conditions in which education takes place; the organizational and interpersonal processes that occur in and around school; and the general atmosphere or spirit of the school. These four components play a major role in the creation of a safe school environment.

California State PTA believes that there are certain qualities inherent to safe and peaceful schools and these places are places where:

  • Students feel respected and know that the learning community cares about their individual needs and expects them to succeed;
  • Parents and community members are welcomed and encouraged to share ideas, talents and resources for improving the school;
  • High standards exist and are communicated on a regular basis;
  • Students and staff know that learning and achievement are encouraged and highly valued and that positive social behaviors are expected;
  • There is continued involvement and cooperation of parents, students, teachers, security staff, classified staff and law enforcement representatives in designing and revising of the school’s discipline, disaster, safe school and crisis plans;
  • Prevention is stressed, and the staff and students are prepared for emergencies and other unforeseen situations;
  • Programs are in place to prevent negative behaviors such as gang activity, drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse, bullying and other socially abusive behavior;
  • Regular security checks occur;
  • There are ongoing training opportunities that allow students and staff to increase their ability to deal with conflict, anger and other threats to safety.

PTA believes that school personnel, students, parents, and community members must work together to develop and implement a safe and peaceful school environment on all school campuses throughout California.

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