Student Safety Awareness

Safety is becoming an increasingly critical topic at schools, colleges, and universities across the country. And, while security lights, emergency phones, and campus police are extremely important, they may not always be enough.

Empower individuals with the skills needed to take ownership of their own safety—now, in college, and beyond—with specialized online learning resources focused on ensuring learners know how to trust their instincts, increase their observation skills, and develop an action plan for when faced with potential threats.

Developed by former Navy SEALs and Personal Safety Experts, these Real World Safety courses share best practices based on their combined knowledge and expertise, and ask critical questions that guide learners on applying what they’ve learned into their daily lives.

These Real World Safety lessons are very flexible and time efficient. Feel free to follow them in the order below or pick the topics that speak to you the most.

Interested in preparing your teachers, staff, and students with Real World Safety skills? Contact Atomic Learning today.

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What are the effects of stress?

When it comes to making the right choices and taking the right actions in a situation where your safety is at risk, it is critical to understand what will happen to your body and your mind. In this session we will learn about the physical and mental limitations that result from the physiological effect of stress. We will also discuss a “recipe” to overcome these limitations.

How do I respond to threats?

This section briefly reviews the topics introduced in the previous topic. It also acknowledges our experience when we have judged someone’s decisions or actions. It is very easy for us to use our conscious brain (neocortex) when we are not under stress to make decisions or to take plans of action. Unfortunately, we now know that, under high levels of stress, the conscious part of our brain simply does not function well.

How can a survivor mindset save your life?

In this section, we share a powerful story from Angela, the founder of the Fight Back Foundation. This real-life story chronicles the vicious attack that Angela experienced in a downtown Minneapolis parking ramp. The intense and emotional story is shared by the actual survivor. It serves two purposes: to illustrate the reality of threats to our safety and to demonstrate that a fighting spirit and survivor mindset can save your life.

How can my instinct keep me safe?

In this topic, we will begin by defining what instinct is and how it can be used to increase our personal safety. We will learn that our instinct is not magical or a sixth sense; rather it is our brain’s amazing ability to process significant amounts of information subconsciously. We will continue to explore the importance of our mindset and how our different mindsets act as filters between our subconscious and conscious brains. These filters allow us to see or not see certain things in the world around us, which can be essential for our ability to stay safe. Finally, we will work on two tools to strengthen our instinct to help us stay safe.

How do I identify a threat?

Situational Awareness is comprised of two parts: Threat Assessment and Environment Assessment. In this topic, we are going to work on Threat Assessment. When we are using our Sealed Mindset (our safety-based mindset), we want to use our natural ability to assess people for the purpose of determining whether they have the capability and intent to do us harm. In this section, we will learn the secrets of international spies and how they use these same criteria to stay safe during dangerous missions.

How do I apply threat assessment?

As a review, we learned how to assess threats by assessing their intent and their capability. We learned to assess someone’s capability by observing their strength (hands) and mobility (feet). When assessing someone’s intent, we look at their eyes and actions. Now, we will learn a proven approach to categorizing capability and intent. By classifying people as Neutral, Possible Threat, or Threat, we can immediately take the right actions toward staying safe. Just as we mentioned in the last topic, international intelligence operatives utilise these same skills every day to stay ahead of the “bad guys.”

What is an environmental threat assessment?

Now we will address the second half of Situational Awareness, which is learning how to assess our environments. Similar to how we naturally assess people, we also instinctually assess our environments. Both of these actions were “hardwired” into our survival instinct centuries ago. The main point of this lesson is to draw from subconscious into conscious awareness, thereby enabling us to quickly assess and make the right choices for our personal safety.

How do I apply an environmental threat assessment?

In this topic, we will learn how the two parts of Situational Awareness work together: people and environments. We will learn how the different combinations of people and environments help us decide what actions to take. Also, dangerous environments pose the biggest risks to our safety, so we will learn even more ways to identify them.

How can breaking habits of social norms keep me safe?

Unknowingly, we take actions all the time that we do not intend to without conscious thought. Most of the time these actions help us to function well within society. The societies that we live in are complex and require us to follow many complex rules and traditions that we often do not think about because we have been practicing these rules and traditions for the majority of our lives. These subconscious actions become conditioned in our minds and bodies through repetition. In this section, we will learn where the socially conditioned actions come from and how in some scenarios these socially conditioned actions can become dangerous to our safety.

How can I keep safe while driving?

In this topic, we will continue our explanation of Social Conditioning by looking at how it affects us in our vehicles. We will see how there are times when traffic laws and our concern for not damaging our vehicles can put us into a bad situation. We will also see how we can use our vehicles to take action to stay safe.

How can I keep safe while living on my own?

Once you are living on your own, you alone will be responsible for being aware of your situation and being able to identify and avoid risks to your safety. We are going to look at some specific threats to your safety and give you the knowledge of how to apply the skills we have already learned to address these specific threats. For young adults out on their own for the first time, there are two main threats that are most likely to occur: mugging and sexual assault. We will define each of these crimes and we will discuss how we avoid them, how we can deter them, and how we can defend against them.

How can I stay safe when out drinking?

At some point in your future as a student or as a young professional, you or someone you are around is going to be drinking. Alcohol can have a dramatic negative effect on your safety because alcohol causes your body and brain to react in ways that are counterproductive to your safety. Having a drinking plan to keep our friends and ourselves safe when we decide to go into an environment where alcohol exists is an important part of our mindset planning process.

What is a defensive mindset?

As we have learned, we have to have the proper mindset for safety, know how to identify threats, and how to take actions to avoid conflict and stay safe. Unfortunately, there is a chance that at some point in our lives we will be confronted with a situation where physical defense is necessary to avoid harm. Most people believe that physical defense starts with the body, for example learning how to punch or kick, but we will take lessons instead from the Navy SEALs who know that physical defense starts in the mind. The second part of this section is also a very important lesson that is rarely taught: how to make an effective 911 call.

How do I physically defend myself?

Ninety percent of what you need to do to keep yourself safe comes from the mind. That still leaves the ten percent: the physical skills. We understand the limitations of delivering this information through videos and online content without physical contact. However, as long as you pay attention and practice with intent, you will learn skills that may save your life one day. These skills are based on many years of experience, not only in the real world, but also across many areas of expertise. While these skills will seem simple, they are designed to be easy to learn and effective in many situations. Learners should also consider searching for other providers of physical self-defense to continue to build their confidence when it comes to staying safe.