How Campus Police Can Help Promote a Positive and Safe School Culture
The more students trust those who keep campuses safe, the more comfortable they’ll be focusing on their academic pursuits.
Over the last several decades, campus safety and school culture have taken on more importance for institutions. What was once considered an afterthought in campus operations is now taking its deserved place as a top priority for campus leaders.
Educational institutions are now aware of the profound effect that a safe and positive school culture can have on students and their ability to excel in their academic careers. This being the case, these institutions are beginning to allow campus police and security to take a more central role in cultivating an outstanding school culture. Understanding the ways that these personnel can impact school culture can give one a deeper understanding of the important role that school culture plays in students’ lives.
Before diving into the ways that campus police and security can promote amazing school culture, it’s necessary to have a clear idea of what school culture is. Below is an overview.
What is School Culture?
Though there is no singular definition of school culture, it can be described as the overall atmosphere of a school. This atmosphere includes:
- The relationship between students and staff
- The level of safety on campus
- The general moods and attitudes of teachers and staff
- The community values promoted and felt on campus
- The relationship between a school and its community
- The level of respect between different individuals
The combination of these attributes forms what is referred to as school culture and help shape the campuses where students grow and learn. When these factors are all positive and well-developed, that is generally perceived as good school culture. Conversely, when institutions are lacking in these areas, they are seen as having bad school culture.
While teachers and students can both play significant roles in school culture, campus police and security can also play a vital role in creating it. As such, campus police and security who are actively working to cultivate and maintain an outstanding school culture for their institution can have a profound impact on the lives of students and the ways that they learn and evolve as individuals.
The Importance of Positive and Safe School Culture
Crafting an excellent school culture has become a priority for schools nationwide. This is because improving school culture can positively impact students’ ability to learn and thrive in many ways. Understanding the ways that school culture benefits students is essential to understanding why it’s become so important in today’s evolving educational landscape. Some ways great school culture benefits students include:
- Promoting More Interest in Learning: Every educational institution shares the goal of inspiring interest in students to learn and explore new subjects. Crafting a great school culture will achieve this aim and inspire students to aim higher academically and become genuinely excited about learning.
- Creating Stronger Bonds Between Teachers and Students: Campuses with outstanding school culture are more conducive for students and teachers to develop strong bonds. These relationships can result in students diving deeper into the subjects their studying, being provided with sage guidance, and having better academic results.
- Improving Social Skills In Students: Respect for others and their values is a hallmark trait of students on campuses with good school culture. As a result of spending time and studying in this environment, students will naturally develop advanced social skills and a deeper respect for others that can help them later in their professional lives.
The Role of Campus Police and Security in Promoting Great School Culture
Campus police and security are in a special position when it comes to helping institutions craft positive school culture. However, it may be tricky for those in this role to know how to go about achieving this aim. Thankfully, having some guidance and being exposed to some key tips can make the process easier and more attainable.
Here is how campus police and security can play a role in promoting great school culture.
Though this may seem obvious, promoting a safe environment for students to learn and exist in is a critical aspect of good school culture. In addition, many of those who become police officers and security personnel do so in the hopes of having opportunities to keep people safe.
By simply striving to achieve this aim by being fastidious in one’s efforts to keep one’s campus safe, one has the opportunity to greatly bolster school culture and craft a better learning environment for students.
Building Trust with Students
For students to feel truly safe and supported, it’s vital that campus police and security build trust with them. The more students trust those who keep campuses safe, the more comfortable they’ll be focusing on their academic pursuits. In addition, when students trust campus police and security, they’ll be more likely to report any bullying or harassment that they witness or experience.
This being the case, those in campus police and security roles can help improve school culture by going out of their way to build trust with students and demonstrate their intention of crafting a safe environment for everyone to thrive.
Taking Bullying Seriously
Whether it’s on an elementary school campus or a university campus, a culture of bullying or hazing can have a tremendously negative impact on students’ ability to learn and thrive. This being the case, campus police and security can make a substantial impact on school culture by being proactive about mitigating instances of bullying. Though some minor acts of bullying may seem like they’re not the most important incidents, showing students that this type of behavior is wholly inappropriate will help express the message that bullying is never alright.
Engaging In Actions That Promote Good Mental Health In Students
Though being involved in the mental health of students isn’t a typical duty of law enforcement, campus police and security can greatly impact school culture by engaging in acts that promote good mental health in students. This can involve connecting victims of bullying with school counselors, working with mental health professionals to help provide students with pertinent resources, or supporting students in need.
By bolstering the mental health status of students on campus, one has the chance to positively impact school culture and create a better space for students to excel in their pursuits.
Campus Police and Security Play a Vital Role in School Culture
School culture has become a main priority for institutions across the country in today’s evolving world. One of the keyways that institutions are able to cultivate better school culture is by getting campus police and security involved in these efforts. For those in these roles, engaging in some key efforts can have a significant impact on an institution’s school culture.
This being the case, it is more than likely that schools will continue to tap campus police and security to help bolster school culture and make campuses safer and more positive environments for students.
Sarah Daren has been a consultant for startups in multiple industries including health and wellness, wearable technology, nursing, and education.
Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety.
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