Many schools have a no-harm policy against students defending themselves. Schools fear that if they allow self-defense, they will be liable if something goes wrong.
This is a legitimate concern, but it is possible to find ways to do it safely, and this article will go into detail on how schools can do this.
Why do schools punish self-defense?
1. Fights are inevitable
From a school’s perspective, the two main arguments against self-defense are that fights happen no matter what and schools cannot be responsible for every row. Indeed, schools cannot stop every fight from happening.
However, allowing some form of self-defense in the school can ultimately reduce the amount of violence.
If a student knows that they have some way to defend themself, then it is likely that the attack might not occur or at least would be less vicious, which will reduce how much injury there is from the assault.
If students know they can defend themselves, then they are more likely to stand up for themselves, meaning that fewer fights will happen in the first place.
2. Schools have policies in place to stop violence
Schools are worried that allowing students to defend themselves will cause more violence. This is a real problem and should be considered when deciding whether to enable self-defense in the school.
There are several measures that schools can take to stop this from occurring, such as mandating a minimum age for which a student will be allowed to carry self-defense devices on their person and setting limits on when and how often a student may use them (Example for only grade 6 and above)
Or they can institute a safety patrol to monitor the hallways and report any unsanctioned defense hardware to the school administration.
3. Students must be able to defend themselves against Bullying
Bullying has been a growing problem in recent years. Many schools are worried that allowing students to defend themselves will cause more attacks on the school.
This is not entirely unfounded, schools could potentially get sued over a Bullying attack if they do not have a good plan when dealing with self-defense, but there are ways around this problem.
Such as mandating that students report all self-defense devices to the school administration and making all students undergo extensive training before they are allowed to carry them on their person (e.g., only grade 7 and above may take self-defense classes, etc.)
4. It will undermine the authority of teachers
If students are allowed to use self-defense, then it is likely that they will not listen to the orders of teachers and attack another student in the name of self-defense.
This is a valid concern but can be handled in many ways. For example, teachers can tell the students that they should listen to them before they get the self-defense device.
This will make the teacher’s orders more effective because the student knows something is waiting for them if they disobey an order from a teacher.
5. A student intends to fight, not defend themselves
This is a tricky point because it is true that an attacker might be trying to fight the person they are attacking and not defending themself, but there are some cases where the victim does not want to fight back.
For example, if someone grabs another student’s lollipop, the student who has been robbed will probably not want to fight back because they do not wish to harm their assailant.
The other student might also be scared of fighting back because they know they would get in trouble if they did.
6. Self-defense is not a sound security system
This is a valid concern, but schools could take other measures regarding self-defense. For example, instead of just allowing students to carry self-defense devices on themself, they could require that the student goes through training before it can be used, which will substantially increase the chance that the student will use their skills correctly if they do get attacked.
They could also set limits on how many times a student can carry such equipment and when and where they may have their device to prevent students from using them when there is no actual danger (i.e., following students around in a darkened hallway at night).
7. Increase the threat of violence in general
If schools were to allow self-defense, they would be increasing the threat of violence in general because this means that students will invade the personal space of others, which means that even if there is a genuine chance that the students might end up attacking someone without them knowing or without them being able to avoid it.
This could lead to dangerous situations for everyone involved, not just the student who gets attacked (who might have been legitimately hurt).
8. Schools are bad at handling fights
Another problem with self-defense in schools is that they are bad at handling fights. This might be true, but schools can be trained to handle these situations; it is not hopeless.
9. It Does not improve the legal system
This is a tricky point because it is true that if every student were allowed to carry self-defense equipment, this would not improve the court system. Still, it would reduce injuries for people who are attacked.
10. It will create more problems than it solves
This is a valid point but not a problem because schools do not allow such devices on school property.
This would be a problem if they did, but it is not. In the future, it will become a problem (just as schools are going to have to deal with issues related to self-defense, whether or not they allow self-defense in their schools)
But that does not mean that people should not be allowed to carry such equipment at all, just that this will become an issue eventually, and there are ways around it.
Self-defense is a crucial issue because it keeps people safe, but it is also an issue that can cause a lot of problems.
It is up to the individual school to decide whether or not they will allow self-defense on their school grounds, and at this moment, there are many reasons why they should not.
But to ensure that people have a safe place to go when they need one. The important thing is not just knowing self-defense or carrying equipment for protection but knowing how and when to use it legitimately.