Students

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.

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Results from the safety survey show Spanish-speaking students felt far unsafer than their English-speaking counterparts.

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.

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Results from the survey show Spanish-speaking students felt they were not respected after getting in trouble in far greater numbers than their English-speaking counterparts.

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.

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