There are no Safe Spaces

By | September 22, 2022

[September 22, 2022] Many who work in education and government sincerely believe that creating safe spaces is proper and correct to protect vulnerable people.  While that gesture originates in compassion, such an idea is absolutely wrong and destructive in the long run.  There are no safe spaces in the world.  The world is a tough place to be.

Recently, I attended several school board meetings in my local community.  Members of the school board are interested in the education of children and have dedicated themselves to that noble aim; it is a noble aim.  Yet, they frequently discuss providing safe spaces to the kids to “foster a better learning environment.”  The school’s Superintendent echoed that sentiment repeatedly.

But, school is not a safe space.  School is where you will be confronted by many new and sometimes horrible ideas.  If we want to learn essential lessons from history, so we do not repeat the horrors of the past, then that is not safe.  Human history is an endless bloodbath with a certain amount of hopeful progress underlying it.  It’s a horror show in many ways, and the 20th century is the most recent example full of atrocities.

Great literature is like that.  Biology, meteorology, and physics are also terrifying.  If you want to be safe, then stay home.  Stay home with your mother.  Don’t go outside.  Don’t go to school if you want to be safe.  If the school seeks to make the student safe, then the school ceases to be a school.

If we are to teach, for example, about the Holocaust, the Holodomor, Mao’s Great Leap Forward, or the Killing Fields of Cambodia, what are we to make of it?  We are humans, and it was humans who tortured, starved, enslaved and killed tens of millions.  Here is something to think about; if you had been in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, you would have been a Nazi – no question about it.  How’s that for being safe?

Those who run schools telling kids that safe spaces are offered to them are doing them a great disservice.

I’ve been in the business of conducting war for 40 years, and I was very good at what I did, and I didn’t make the rank of Brigadier General without that ability.  Here is one thing I discovered.  You don’t make the world safer.  Soldiers will be afraid in combat.  You work closely with them, put them into realistic training situations, talk about combat and war, and show them the skills they need to stay alive and accomplish their unit’s mission.  What we know will happen is that they will not be less afraid but braver.

You don’t make the world and its past atrocities smaller; you make the person and their capacity to deal with fear and horror larger.  You show them how to be stronger and more resilient.  This is what schools are supposed to do.  You teach them the proper arguments; you hone their intellect.  You teach them to write so they can marshal their arguments and how to engage in intellectual disagreements because that is better than engaging in actual combat.

You make school children hard and robust.  Coddling them does not make them safe; you do so only to devour their spirit.  Don’t be like the witch in the story of Hansel and Gretel, where the witch invites into her home the two children.  She tells them, “My house is made of gingerbread; just come into my home, and all will be fine.”  She’s fattening them up to eat them.

That’s the model now for the modern school system.  And it is failing children abysmally.

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Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

35 thoughts on “There are no Safe Spaces

  1. Dead Pool Guy

    Right, Gen. Satterfield, there are truly no real safe spaces. This is some whacko concept that means we will indocrinate you and make you repeat the state religion of climate change and racism and punish you if you resist.

    Reply
  2. Qassim

    I’m amazed at how self-destructive so many policies I see inflicted upon the general population in America. it is sad to see. Blessings to all.

    Reply
    1. Aussie

      When times are good, the crazies are manifest. When times are bad (and those times are coming), then we see them hide in their basement bunkers, afraid to venture out to face those things the normal people will face. We call that cowardice and they deserve to be labelled as such. Cheers!

      Reply
  3. Nick Lighthouse

    Timely article. I wish teachers would read it. But, oh no. They are too busy lining up for a handout from the state now that they got their way to teach anything but tough subjects like math, science, English, and literature.

    Reply
  4. Eye Cat

    Great blog post today. I printed it and posting it on my school’s bulletin board. Let’s see what reaction I get.

    Reply
    1. Commie Red

      Eye Cat, don’t do that. School teachers and admin people know far more about what your kids need than you will ever know. This website is way off base on this topic. The government knows better. The government will always provide for school kids. Don’t ever worry about it. Just go away and don’t bother the experts.

      Reply
      1. Edward G.

        Commie, you never disappoint. School “experts,” ha! They are ideologically captured, just like you.

        Reply
        1. Linux Man

          … and it was the experts that got us into such trouble, so let’s not forget that. How’s that triple mask wearing you are doing Commie Red, help prevent the Chinese Virus from getting to you?

          Reply
      2. Mikka Solarno

        Gee, go away Commie Red and bother other folks with your “kindness.” You are helping make kids weak, not strong.

        Reply
  5. Yusaf from Texas

    Don’t be surprised if you get arrested for politely telling schools that they are being harmful to children.

    Reply
  6. Kerry 6

    Wow, Gen. Satterfield sure nailed today, what I’ve been thinking for a while now. I’m not worried about strong kids. It’s the majority of them, those that are weak that are going to suffer longterm terrible consequences like higher suicide rates, self harm, struggle with their “sexual identity,” be ostracized, screwed up on their hormones, etc. And the government is telling them that they are “normal.” Eek.

    Reply
    1. 76 Wife

      Yes, thanks Army Capt. Good article. The basics but still good. Read more, and be more active to stand up against the Marxist wannabes’

      Reply
      1. Laughing Monkey

        Ouch, man, Gen. Satterfield sure went on the warpath today, didn’t he? Great comments in the leadership forum today also.

        Reply
  7. Fred Weber

    Excellent article and you “go get ’em,” Gen. S. This is the kind of article that makes my blood boil. The Marxist teachers who majored in the appalling women’s study or gender study in college wasted their parent’s money (they surely didn’t pay for it, no one would). Worthless college degrees are infecting us all with their drivil.

    Reply
  8. Janna Faulkner

    Gen. Satterfield, your blog post today comes at an appropriate time but too late for many of us who now have to suffer thru a variety of “state” laws that govern our school systems. What is the typical parent to do? We can’t pull them out and homeschool them, becuase there simply isn’t the ability since we all work to just pay the bills. We can’t send them to a private school because I’m already paying taxes and now have to pay the private school on top of it. Writing your article is highligting something we already know about and can’t do anything. What to do?

    Reply
    1. American Girl

      As a mother of three healthy children in public school, I spend a lot of time going to school board meetings telling them how broken their system is. Hint, school administrators don’t like being told their communication is poor, so watch out. Go to board meetings and tell them they are not doing a good job by adopting these anti-family values.

      Reply
      1. Liz at Home

        You go girl. That’s what it takes to beat down the tyranny being imposed on us.

        Reply
      2. JT Patterson

        Pow … he he he he … you got that right. Love to read this forum today, makes me happy to see there are still independent folks who speak their minds.

        Reply
  9. Eduardo Sanchez

    Gen. Satterfield, as a resident of New Jersey and the recent laws requiring the teaching of cartoon pornography to K-8 graders, what do you think is going to happen when parents find out about it? Will there be a rebellion?

    Reply
      1. Doc Blackshear

        New Jersey is the worst state in America. Why does Gen. Satterfield live there among so much scum?

        Reply
  10. Emma Archambeau

    === and don’t forget that teachers were the first to stand in line for the covid vaccine shots while they are “working from home.”

    Reply
  11. Forrest Gump

    Our public school system is in the trashbin of history and the private schools are not far behind. You know what I say ….

    Reply
    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      Stupid is, as stupid does. Yep, that perfectly sums up what our school “administrators” have done. I know, I teach High School.

      Reply
      1. New Girl #1

        Right Mr. Asper. You have given us some insights in the past about how terrible the school systems are doing. They have strayed from their original purpose to help young children become health, productive, independent adults.

        Reply
      2. Valkerie

        Teachers are teaching how to use “pronouns” and how to identify the sexual organs of men and women to Kindegardners. What’s up with that? General Satterfield, thank you for another wonderful spot on article.

        Reply

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