Protecting Students and Teachers: A Discussion on School Safety

AIR Vice President David Osher addresses the tragedy at Sandy Hook and the research around creating safe school environments. He states, "Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes or easy solutions to respond to the tragedy at Sandy Hook – or any of the other school shootings that have abruptly altered so many lives. But there are steps we can take to change the school environment so that students and teachers feel safe. And research shows that students and teachers perform better when their schools improve discipline by focusing on student self- discipline, not external punishment; by promoting healthy behaviors not suppressing unhealthy ones; by preventing problem behaviors rather than focusing on punishment; building connections to students, not removing them from the school community; and coordinating services systematically, not adding services piecemeal."