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ERIC Number: EJ996419
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0145-935X
The Politics of Fear
Martin, Jennifer
Child & Youth Services, v34 n1 p5-8 2013
In the aftermath of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut this past December, people experienced the world around them as less safe--understandably so. In response to such a tragic event, there is a degree of fear instilled in all people that for many was at its peak in the New Year as they prepared to send their children back to school. School Boards across the United States and Canada reacted to the threat to school safety by investing in increased security strategies such as surveillance cameras, on-site police officers and security guards, enhanced lockdown procedures (all school entrances and classroom doors are locked at all times), and regular lockdown drills much like the fire drill practices. In the wake of recent events it is not surprising that there are increased calls for enhanced safety measures in schools. However, these calls have diverted attention away from attending to student needs and safety issues that occur in schools in the day-to-day every day. Many children and youth require (sometimes intensive) school-based supports for social, emotional, behavioral, and relationship problems. Children's Mental Health Ontario determined that over half a million children in the province grapple with mental health problems. The consequences of leaving such problems unattended or untreated are well known and include school failure, substance abuse, violence and suicide. All young people need trusting relationships and effective support services and initiatives throughout their school experience. Children and youth need and have the right to social, emotional, behavioral and relational support services provided by highly skilled caring professionals. However, the politics of fear are being used to substantiate increased funding for school security measures. To create a safe school environment in which young people are treated fairly and with dignity and respect there is a need to ensure that the voices of children and youth are included in developing solutions, implementing change and evaluating the results of school support services and safety measures. It is incumbent upon schools to purposefully attend to the complex needs of all students and provide skilled support services within a caring school environment. The well-being--the lives--of children and youth depends on it.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A