12 things students and parents say about safety post-COVID

38% of teens are confident school officials can create an atmosphere of physical and social-emotional safety
By: | April 22, 2021

More than half of teens said they are not ready to deal with the anxiety of returning to school, according to a survey that may sounds some alarms for administrators.

Also, 53% percent of teens age 16 and 17 reported that they are thinking more about physical and social-emotional safety than they were six months ago, according to the poll by Navigate360 and Zogby.

“With schools opening again and the tragic increase in violence across the country, we have a lot of work to do to relearn socialization skills, identify concerning behavior, and react to potential threats of harm in real-time,” said JP Guilbault, CEO ofNavigate360, which provides schools with safety and security systems.

“Catching up on learning loss cannot be our singular area of focus this summer and fall. We must actively and proactively work together to create spaces that are safe physically, socially and emotionally,” Guilbault says.

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More than half of students also doubted whether schools are prepared to respond effectively to emergency incidents or mental health needs.

The survey shows students are uneasy in the wake of several mass shootings in recent months.

The poll also found:

  • 38% of teens are confident that school officials can create an atmosphere of physical and social-emotional safety in the classroom
  • Half of the teens (49%) and parents (51%) are aware of a classmate or student who was bullied because of their race, sexual orientation, or income level
  • Only 42% of teens know where and how to report a threat or risk
  • Only 23% of teens believed that their school is prepared to handle mental health issues
  • 37% of students were confident that their classmates knew what to do in an emergency
  • Three in five teens (59%) say they know someone who has considered self-harm or suicide, up three points from the previous poll done in January
  • 78% of parents with children under 17 report they are worried about the mental health impact of Covid-19 isolation and stress on their children.
  • 62% of parents reported that they talk to their children about mental health issues
  • 62% of parents feel that schools have sufficient resources to deal with mental health concerns, less than half of young adults agree

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent shootings have left teens increasingly worried for their safety, especially in school settings,” said John Zogby, who conducted the poll. “The results show that teens have little confidence in their school’s ability to handle issues of mental health, bullying and physical security. Unaddressed, this could lead to an epidemic of self-harm, suicide, and violence.”