• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

Safe vs Safer - When Nuance Matters



There is so much thought that is given to how we use language in Empowerment Self Defense programs.


For example, we are committed to creating safer communities. Not safe communities.


Why?


Well, we can promise that a community will be safer once we hit the tipping point of the number of people taught, but we cannot promise they will be safe. How safe they are is something we cannot control because we cannot predict who may enter these communities intending harm.


What we know is that the more a community learns about the importance of ESD, setting boundaries, and reporting inappropriate behavior, the better chance they will have of being safe.

What we know is that the more a community learns about the importance of ESD, setting boundaries, and reporting inappropriate behavior, the better chance they will have of being safe.

Yet, we cannot promise safe. We can promise safer.


My classroom is a space that I can control. I can make sure it is safe. Not perfect. But safe.


Why?


Because even though I can’t control how students might behave in my class, I know is that it is my job, my commitment, for my classroom to be a safe space. Not a safer space. A safe space.


That means that I will do everything within my power to create and maintain a safe space. While I can’t control how others might behave, I can respond appropriately in a timely matter so that it is clear to everyone that this is a safe space.


From a psychological perspective, there is a big difference between me committing to creating a “safe space” in a class or a “safer space.”

From a psychological perspective, there is a big difference between me committing to creating a “safe space” in a class or a “safer space.” The idea of my classroom being a “safer space.” IMHO is a back door for bad things to happen and me not needing to deal with it. Ie. Someone says something horrible and I let it slide, thinking, “Well, it is safer than other places you could be.”


Not ok.


My commitment in my classroom is that I will ensure that it is safe for you, the student. I will call out inappropriate comments or behaviors and I will take appropriate actions if needed. My classroom will be a safe space for all who come to learn.


This is a commitment. This is what we expect in an ESD classroom.