One principle of school safety and culture that has proven to be very important to the administration is that every student in the building has a trusted adult.
A trusted adult is a teacher or staff member in the building who students feel they can come to when they need assistance or support.
In October, assistant principal Dwight Kirksey sent out a survey where students could input their three most trusted adults in the high school as well as detailing their current stress levels and the various stressors in their lives. Kirksey then sent several follow up emails explaining that the administration “would like to have 100% participation if possible” in the survey.
To test the efficacy and accuracy of this survey, students of different grade levels were interviewed on whether or not they actually had a trusted adult in the building. All of the students interviewed agreed that they did have someone in the building that they felt they could turn to for help.
“They’re really understanding, and I feel like if I had a problem they would help me through it,” Ellie Nakatani said of her trusted adult. While Nakatani does not have this person as a teacher this year, she still feels like she could turn to this person for assistance.
About if she would actually reach out to this person for help, Nakatani said, “I think it depends. I think they would be my first choice. There are people outside of school who I would feel more comfortable with, but if I needed to, yeah.”
Senior Anna Barr actually has utilized her trusted adult when she needed support. “Whenever I’m having a bad day, she lets me come into her room and talk to her,” Barr said. “Even if she has stuff to do, she’ll still take me.”
Junior Josie Gerdes cited band teacher Kevin Cole as her trusted adult. “I’d say he’s really trustworthy just because I’ve known him for a long time,” Gerdes said. “He’s just like a really reliable person. You can tell he really cares about the students.”
Sophomore Maggie Lodes cited mutual respect as the reason for why her trusted adult is so reliable. “They’re always willing to help you, and if you ask questions they’ll tell you. Some teachers you just kind of have that bond with that like, you kind of have respect for them and they have respect for you, and that’s how I trust them,” Lodes said.
Even though it is her first year in the high school, freshman Sonia Archambault believes that she has an adult she could go to if she needed assistance. “They’re someone who I know wouldn’t say anything to anyone else unless it was immediately necessary, so, yeah, I could totally trust them,” Archambault said.
Archambault said the survey sent out by the administration helps students feel safer in school. Archambault said, “It just helps everyone know that everyone has someone, and if they don’t, maybe they can get help to have someone that they trust.”
This will be Maren DeMargel’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year.