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‘Safe Space’ signs spread, sparking controversy

Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 | Teachers have put up safe space signs, like this one in front of Ms. Jessie Mason’s class, in the last half of the first semester.

Safe spaces offer productive comfort in trying times

By Chris Agnone ’18
THE ROUNDUP

After the recent election cycle and many current events such as the Black Lives Matter protests, tempers flared over a variety of political and social conflicts.

This has created a volatile environment for many students on an off campus.

These hard times opened the door for the recent phenomenon around Brophy, the “Safe Space” signs.

These signs can be seen outside many classrooms and offices.

The reason the signs were put up is to recognize that, in those rooms, all opinions and views can be talked about without fear of criticism or attack from another party, no matter what is being said.

Safe space designations have been around for years but heated rhetoric in the last two years has brought them to light again.

This is creating clean discussion on both sides of many social issues, which is important for community unity and respect.

“Safe spaces” are refuges for like-minded people, where they don’t have to explain or defend their political beliefs or practices, as stated in an article by CNN in August of 2016.

High school students are usually in the process of forming their own personal beliefs and political views.

Safe spaces offer a place where the aggressive influence of others in deterred and allows for clear thinking and a peaceful environment.

Some students feel like the safe spaces signs are useless and that people need to be able to share their opinion in any environment.

This would be a valid argument if that environment was clean and respectful of everyone. The problem is that society has created a dangerous place for many people to state their opinion openly.

Unfortunately, many students get attacked when they openly support a view that is different from the majority around them.

While we would all like to consider the entirety of Brophy’s campus as a safe space, think about the insults and derogatory words you have heard here.

As much as we want to have a campus where safe space signs aren’t needed, we aren’t there yet.

These safe spaces are also for a peaceful place where students can step out of the storm of life and get a break. This is very important for the mental stability of everyone, especially those who struggle to get the support they need from the rest of the school or at home.

The students who do not support the safe spaces signs do not seem to understand them.

They are not for people to hide behind or flee to. They are there for open, clean and nonaggressive conversations. Everyone is welcome: Democrat, Republican, white, black, latino and everything in between.

The safe spaces are a beautiful thing that give respect and support to the most vulnerable in our community in these trying times.

America can only move forward in these conflicting times by allowing for clear, clean conversation on modern issues and figures.

Safe spaces hinders personal growth, needs moderation

By Sam Romero ’17
THE ROUNDUP

Throughout the country, schools have been putting up “safe spaces” in order to make students feel safe from outside criticism and judgement of societal issues.

Declarations of safe spaces isn’t a new thing, but the election has created a renewed prominence.

This could be harmful for the growth and education of students by making them unable to deal with the real world and opposing viewpoints.

The idea of safe spaces is a great concept, where kids do not have to hide who they are and worry about the judgement of others.

But especially when it comes to politics, safe spaces can also be seen as babying the future leaders of America. They will not get far in life when they cannot work with people who do not agree with them politically.

The main problem with safe spaces is that it does not let the individual and their beliefs be challenged by an opposing side of the argument.

This leads to people truly not seeing the other side of a controversial subject matter and not coming together to find a middle ground.

That’s what we should be encouraging; to have people be challenged and to have them grow as a person.

I have had so many of my beliefs challenged and changed by having debates with others that disagreed with me. And none of that could have happened if I was in a safe space with only people who agree with me.

Now many people do not use safe spaces in this manner. Kudos to those who use a formal declaration that a space is safe as a way to protect others from abuse and humiliation.

But, when it comes specifically to politics, it becomes a problem when people abuse them to not listen to opposing viewpoints and challenge their own beliefs.

This in turn can make people closed minded and only hear part of a political controversy.

But having a safe space that is not politically based would be a good thing.

I admit that I use my bedroom as a safe space, where I can be alone and feel safe. Everyone needs that from time to time.

What I do not use it for is to block out opposing ideals that go against what I believe in.

Safe spaces can be a great thing, and I do think everyone has a designated space they can escape the pressures of the real world.

But I worry students and others are using designated safe spaces to a point that abuses the original point of them.

They are using them to restrict the freedom of speech by silencing those who they do not agree with.

We all need to bring ourselves out of our personal bubble and let what we stand for be challenged by others in order to grow.