Reviews | What Can Schools Do About Disturbed Students?

Josh McKivigan, a behavioral health therapist who works with middle school and high school students, said the majority of threats he has encountered do not turn into violence. “Usually it’s students taking action who need some sort of mental health treatment,” McKivigan said. And he said students are getting better and better at identifying and sounding the alarm bells for teachers and counselors when their friends exhibit disturbing behaviors – like not sleeping, not bathing, isolating themselves from people, or speaking out. weird things.

Still, he said that as a school therapist he found the Michigan incident chilling because it appeared, according to reports, that the parents of the accused student were unwilling to work with the school to help supervise their child. McKivigan also said that with Covid, he sees a basic level of irritability, anger and mistrust among parents and students, which he finds worrying. “It looks like a perfect storm for a crisis that is happening,” he said.

Despite the absolute dread that mass shootings inspire in almost everyone, it should be noted that these types of events are relatively rare and schools remain among the safest places for children. According to the National Survey on Youth Risk Behaviors (YRBS), which monitors youth behavior every two years, 11.8% of students carried a gun on school property in 1993 during the 30 days preceding the survey and only 2.8% in 2019. Brock m ‘ also pointed out that violence in schools is avoided at all times. ; we don’t often hear about these cases. The Post just published an article on a grandmother who contacted the authorities, potentially avoiding a tragedy.

Just because students are relatively safe physically does not mean they feel psychologically safe. It is proven that they do not. According to YRBS data, nearly double the percentage of students who missed at least one day of school due to safety concerns in the 30 days before the survey compared to years ago – 8.7% in 2019, up from 4.4% in 1993. Lauren Koong, who won a Times Learning Network essay contest, wrote about how every time she hears the lunch bell ringing in At her high school in Houston, she remembers a gang-related shootout that occurred in her freshman year.

For too many of our children, we can’t erase these horrible memories, and I admit that after reporting this, I don’t feel optimistic. Not because I don’t think teachers and school counselors are unprepared to deal with potential violence. On the contrary, I think most of them are doing their best to keep the students safe. But they are not psychic, and in a country where there is, according to a study, 120.5 firearms per 100 inhabitants, there will always be the possibility of a worst-case scenario.

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