Learning about personal safety is intended to reduce injuries as well as equip youth with the skills to recognize, assess, and manage potentially dangerous situations. Personal safety topics focus on identifying, preventing, and resolving issues in areas such as bullying, harassment, and violence in relationships. The learning can be applied in both face-to-face situations and online environments. Injury prevention topics focus on safety in a variety of contexts (e.g., safe use of technology, road and fire safety, concussion prevention, identiﬁcation, and management) and environments (e.g., home, school, work, and sports venues).
Violence, harassment, discrimination, and abuse can affect students in many different ways. Such actions can have long-lasting detrimental effects on students, regardless of whether they are experienced in a school, social, or home environment, directly or indirectly. Students need to be able to recognize many forms of violence, harassment, and abuse in order to develop the skills to appropriately and confidently respond when faced with such experiences.
Risk-taking is a natural and important part of maturation for youth. Having the conﬁdence to take risks is essential to enjoying and achieving in both learning and life. However, students must be able to manage risk for themselves as well as others. To develop risk-management skills, students can engage in skill-building activities and thoughtful discussions about ways to avoid danger in real-life situations.
Theory into Practice – As a culminating activity, consider having students create a school-wide campaign that promotes healthy behaviours and actions to help reduce or respond to negative behaviours within peer groups, the school or the local community.
Learning about personal safety allows students to develop the skills necessary to both avoid dangerous situations and respond appropriately when their personal safety and well-being is threatened. Practicing self-awareness, self-advocacy, conﬂict resolution, anger-management, and decision-making skills as well as communication skills such as assertiveness, resistance, and refusal techniques will help students respond effectively to real-life situations. Additionally, this learning familiarizes students with the support available to them within their families, from school staff, and through community agencies.