Blair Security Policy Changes


Blair’s new security and absenteeism policies will focus on restorative justice and will be implemented by all staff, not just security guards. The philosophy, from the 2022-2023 school year, is inspired by a county-wide responsibility to social justice.

Although more students may initially be pulled from the halls to speak with an administrator, Blair staff hopes to end this trend by providing these students with all the support they need. “It’s not so much about new policies as it is about a new goal,” said the school’s deputy administrator, Rahman Culver.

The idea is more in line with restorative justice philosophies. “We should try to focus less on punishment as a way to engage students and deal with some of these challenges, [and instead] we should focus on finding the root of behaviors,” Culver said.

Rather than school suspension and other punishments that take students away from learning, administrators are offering new solutions like engaging with the Kindness Corner, doing service with some of our SSL opportunities, helping to students and mediation.

Another big change this year is that Blair’s security staff will no longer be solely responsible for enforcing security policies. The role will be more evenly distributed among teachers, administrators and other building support staff.

The social climate of the county, and indeed of America as a whole, played a role in the new practices. With unpredictable threats and acts of violence in school buildings are increasing, Culver believes it’s critical that students be in their classrooms. “If our security guards have to walk around campus chasing people when we actually have an emergency, that puts the whole community at a disadvantage. Or if [security officers are] sitting here trying to chase after people, just to see if they’re in the rooms they’re supposed to be in, they’re less able to determine when an intruder is actually there,” he explained.

However, while school violence has increased the importance of safety policies, certain other aspects of our social climate such as the pandemic have made them less stringent. “We’ve been very kind over the year of Covid comeback because we’re trying to find the right balance. And that’s also part of engaging in trauma-informed practices – we want to make sure we’re doing things that are not going to be too punitive and maybe re-traumatizing for someone We may have overcorrected that meaning we were so committed to extending grace that we lost a part of the structure that sometimes serves students well,” Culver explained.

With the structure reintroduced, Culver hopes to see more teachers working to connect with their students, and more students excited and motivated to learn. “Above all, we just want to make sure people have a meaningful, relevant, and positively rewarding experience. And when that’s not happening, we want to understand why and try to make changes,” he said.


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