School Leaders’ Caring for Place While Addressing Fear, Moral Panic, and Control



Security is a sacred trust for schooling, fundamental to learning, and tied to communities’ educational values such as access, equity, and achievement for students as well as their families. School leaders must balance safety and learning climate while mediating communities’ concerns, assets, and disagreements. Each day in school rests on a fulcrum balancing individual needs and rights with groups’ expectations and rights. School leaders navigate the daily churn with a clear focus on balancing risks inherent in learning and among the social-emotional, place-based connections between learning and behavior. This chapter suggests issues with reactive policy focus on perpetrators and explores the tensions over schools as place, symbol, and target while addressing the issues of security for students and personnel. These balancing acts entail caring, control, community, identity, and site security. The recommendations for balancing risks focus on adding a place-conscious approach to establishing an authentic purpose within each school’s locale.


Caring Community identity Control Place-consciousness Safety Security 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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