According to the Pew Research Center, over 70 percent of high school students in the United States consider depression and anxiety a major problem at their school.
San Marin acknowledges these issues and has identified a potential “Safe Space” for students to go when they feel overwhelmed or anxious. Currently, students are asked to go to the office, counselors, or library if they need a break from class, although there is no articulated protocol for students or teachers.
Because of this lack of clarity, students may not seek the break that they need or feel comfortable approaching teachers to leave classes.
The Safe Space would give students an opportunity to manage their thoughts without the distractions that a classroom environment provides.
The Safe Space would be in the Solar Studio, which was created by the first freshmen STEM class in 2017. STEM teacher Nick Williams expressed his excitement about the studio being issued to help students with their mental health.
“It is more of a pleasant space,” Williams said. “We intentionally put a lot of natural light and windows in there.”
Approximately five students would be allowed in the Safe Space at a time, with campus safety nearby to prevent kids from abusing the room’s privacy. A pass similar to a bathroom pass would be used to allow students access to the Safe Space during class time.