Welcoming safe spaces

Janessa Moore, writer

Recently in OHS, there has been a new comfort space called safe spaces. These safe spaces provide a calm and comfortable environment with snacks, water and quiet spaces. It was first held in the small group forum but the location of the safe space may change depending on the date.  Students and staff discuss what would make OHS better. It allows students to be out of the crowd and be given the opportunity they need to be alone. 

Safe Spaces in OHS came to be from the overwhelming times of the Derek Chauvin trial. This trial was hard for many OHS students. It was a time full of emotions. These emotions may be hard to handle around other people. The goal of these safe spaces are to give the students an area to process these feelings with no judgement and speak out about how they feel. The first safe space was held after the George Floyd vigil, it was held in the small group forum with an adult and some snacks. 

These spaces are open to anyone in the OHS but have been used by students who were constantly surrounded by the traumatic chaos. These students had chances to debrief and feel their genuine emotions. They didn’t have to put on a presentable face to the public like they did throughout the Derek Chauvin trial. Anxious is an understatement to describe that week. Not only for students at OHS but people across the country. Fardouza Farah, an organizer of the safe spaces, says “I loved working on these safe spaces and I really hope OHS adopts a permanent general mental health safe space.”

Safe spaces have also been a significant addition to OHS. There are many benefits to this space. It can be used for more mental health issues as well traumatic experiences. This is a step in the right direction for OHS and other schools that have made spaces like these available in their schools. When these rooms are available, students will be able to hear about it through the weekly announcement.