Safe Schools Begin at Home: Why Parents Should Be Concerned About Student Online Safety

As an educator today, you might think that parents are more inclined to blame schools and teachers than their own children for behavioral and educational issues in the classroom. While there might be some truth to this sentiment, there are just as many parents who take real responsibility for the education and behavior of their children.

It would be a mistake to think this is an either/or issue. Rather, if education is to thrive in the classroom, and if we want to create safe schools, it will be a result of the combined efforts of a healthy home life and a positive school climate.

The home is the more primal environment. Students are first nurtured at home. It is where their language and sense of right and wrong begin to first take shape.

At home, students’ moral and intellectual horizons begin to receive definition. They don’t enter preschool for the very first time as blank canvases. Rather, they’re already predisposed to receive instruction well or not. They’re predisposed to be kind to others or to be unkind. So the home is a more fundamental space of formation. Positively or negatively, students usually resemble their parents more than any educator.

There are many steps schools and districts can take to ensure the safety of students. They can strive to have educators and administrators model the kind of behavior they want to see in their students. In assemblies and other special circumstances, they can outwardly advocate the value of good digital citizenship. They also can reward students who treat one another fairly and leverage teachable moments for students who suffer missteps. Lastly, they can ensure that school-issued technology and resources are safe and appropriate for students.

When students enter the classroom, they do so with a pre-established sense of character. The responsibility of bringing up students is reciprocal. Parents are tasked with the responsibility of making education easier for educators, and educators are responsible for making students more knowledgeable, well-rounded children at home.

Once we identify that this is a partnership, and avoid the temptation to thrust responsibility onto others, we will begin to see the lives of students become better.