Skip to main content

What Works Brief #3: Perceptions of Safety

By Meagan O Malley, Angela Amarillas


Schools are perceived as safe when they are free from harassment, bullying, violence, and substance use; and are rich in positive, supportive relationships and interesting and rigorous opportunities for learning. This What Works Brief, cowritten by Meagan O’Malley, former Research Associate at WestEd, offers strategies school districts as well as teachers and other school staff can use to improve students’ perception that school is a safe place, including:

  • Implementing and advocating for clear, consistent, and fair behavior management policies, practices, and programs
  • Being visible, active, and interested

Note: Developed by the California Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) Technical Assistance Center, What Works Briefs summarize state-of-the-art practices, strategies, and programs for improving school climate.

Based on the most current research, each of the ten briefs provides practical recommendations for school staff, parents, and community members and can be used separately to target specific issues (e.g., family engagement) or grouped together to address more complex, systemwide issues. What Works Briefs are organized into three sections:

  • Quick Wins: What Teachers and Adults Can Do Right Now
  • Universal Supports: Schoolwide Policies, Practices, and Programs
  • Targeted Supports: Intensive Supports for At-Risk Youth

In addition to Brief #3: Perceptions of Safety, download these What Works Briefs:

Information about California Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) can be found at the S3 website.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2012
Format: PDF
Pages: 4
Publisher: WestEd