Being about six months into my PhD working on philosophical perspectives on ‘Safe Spaces’, I’ve naturally been reading a lot of articles and getting into a lot of conversations on the topic. I knew that the topic was going to be controversial and part of my motivation behind my research was to add some clarity to a debate in which the two sides often seem to be talking past each other.
To even begin to think about arguing for or against safe spaces, we need to have a clear understanding of what they are. A big part of this means being clear on what ‘safety’ is. Safe from what? For whom? How safe? Once we’re fixed on our answers to these questions, then we can begin to discuss whether this kind of safety is worth pursuing and protecting in educational settings.