According to a safety survey reviewed during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Maury County Public Schools (MCPS) Board, Spanish speaking students in the district felt more than three times as unsafe as English-speaking students while in school.
The safety survey asked students to answer “yes,” “no” or “I’m not sure” to 10 questions. Garnering 499 responses from English-speaking students and 21 from Spanish-speaking students, the results paint a picture of Spanish-speaking students feeling generally more unsafe in school than their English-speaking counterparts.
When asked whether they felt safe in school, 84.8 percent of English-speaking students said yes, 10.8 percent said they weren’t sure, and 4.4 percent said no. Of Spanish-speaking students, 81 percent said yes, 4.7 percent weren’t sure, and 14.3 percent said no.
Another question asked students whether they felt they were treated with respect if they “got in trouble.” Just under 15 percent of English-speaking students said no, whereas just over 33 percent of Spanish-speaking students said that they felt they had not been treated with respect when in trouble.
According to Niche, a Pennsylvania-based company that provides in-depth information on American K-12 schools, about 11.6 percent of MCPS’s 13,000 students are Hispanic, amounting to around 1,500 students.
Given that of the 520 students polled, just 4 percent of them were Spanish-speaking, the results may not fully reflect the feelings of the school district’s Spanish-speaking student body. Nevertheless, the results show a significant difference between how English and Spanish-speaking students feel regarding their safety and afforded respect while in school.