Two schools of thought on student safety: police presence, and behavioral health

Complete faculty behavioral well being techniques Promote security charges, educational success and attendance, and assist scale back particular schooling referrals, faculty disciplinary actions, emergency room visits and hospitalization, and the prevalence and severity of psychological sickness.

Each pupil deserves to really feel secure in school, and a concerted effort to implement complete behavioral well being companies and immediate assist in each district will assist create that secure area.

Mary McGowan

Government Director

Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Youngsters


A barrage of sexual photographs within the media is producing an increase in misconduct amongst schoolchildren

The Globe reported final week {that a} Boston metropolis council member was utilizing a rise in experiences of sexual misconduct and assaults in Boston public faculties to justify a name for tighter safety at faculties, together with the reinstatement of a police presence (“Variety of sexual assaults in dispute,” Metro, Jan. 23).

Tightening safety or having police in faculties will do nothing as a result of sexual harassment and aggressive sexual conduct is all over the place, not simply in faculties, and is supported by the broader tradition.

Most people has been conditioned to simply accept this as regular. The explosion of sexualized depictions of girls and women in media of every kind frequently bombs women and boys. These photos had been seen solely as soon as in pornographic magazines, and had been normally hidden behind retailer counters. Now they’re every day fare.

As well as, Web pornography, a multi-billion greenback business, isn’t just a click on away, however it additionally seems whereas younger youngsters are taking part in harmless laptop video games. Youngsters are uncovered to Web pornography at an early and early age. The pictures they see can normalize the exploitation and abuse of women and girls. Why are we shocked when children behave in faculties?

Except we start to problem the normalization of this sexual exploitation and abuse—at dwelling, in faculties, and in our bigger society—the numbers of sexual misconduct and abuse will proceed to develop.

As an alternative of placing police in faculties, how about lessons the place girls and boys are made conscious of the existence of a secure area to debate the results of sexism, the sexualization of girls and women, and the pornography business, and the place they’ll discover alternate options and options that direct them towards relationships of care and mutual respect as an alternative?

Pastor Cheng Im Tan


The author is the founding father of the Asian Home Violence Activity Pressure.

Faculties are fertile floor for fixing what has been damaged by the pandemic

a A report by the Massachusetts Affiliation of Well being Plans This month illustrates the decades-long disaster in youngsters’s psychological well being in Massachusetts and throughout the nation. Within the fall, the American Psychological Affiliation and the Kaiser Household Basis reported that the emotional penalties of COVID-19 proceed to take a toll on massive numbers of younger adults and older adults. These are our college students and the various dad and mom, academics and volunteers who make up our faculties.

Behavioral well being issues have an effect on consideration, focus, reminiscence, motivation, and organizational expertise required for tutorial success. Two years of emergency administration have disrupted the relationships and shared imaginative and prescient among the many adults who oversee our studying communities.

Faculties are the proper environments to repair what has damaged the pandemic. Predictable actions, emotional bonding, and teamwork might help children take care of stress, promote optimistic relationships, and construct resilience. Many years of social and emotional studying analysis affirm the optimistic influence of inclusive, culturally responsive, and supportive environments on psychosocial growth and educational progress. Likewise, the every day work of grownup stakeholders dedicated to youngsters’s mental and emotional growth gives alternatives to rebuild the relationships and shared imaginative and prescient required for profitable social techniques.

Whereas we’re involved about ‘studying loss’, we need to stress the necessity to get well all that has been misplaced in our studying communities. Recreating secure and supportive faculty climates is step one in serving to college students be taught. This implies not solely investing in social and emotional studying applied sciences and offering behavioral well being sources to youngsters but additionally restoring a way of belief amongst adults in our faculty districts.

Collaborative funding by all stakeholders is required to create these situations for fulfillment.

Thomas Scott

Government Director of the Massachusetts Affiliation of College Superintendents


Glenn Kocher

Government Director of the Massachusetts Affiliation of College Commissions


Nicholas Covino

President of William James School


The college workers is left to take care of the dearth of obtainable caregivers

repeats “Report appears to be like to better function for faculties in behavioral well being disaster” (Metro, Jan. 21): And so we wait…till public anger reaches a tipping level over the dearth of community-based psychological well being care obtainable. A few of us in public schooling and neighborhood psychological well being have been ready 30 years. Now, public faculties are bearing an growing share of the financial value of the decades-old public well being disaster that lengthy predates the pandemic.

Insurance coverage corporations, among the many “stakeholders” talked about within the article, haven’t any financial incentive to offer complete behavioral well being care, which is a loss chief when decoupled from the overall value of offering well being care. These prices have been successfully diverted to the general public sector and exacerbated by an alarming scarcity of individuals beginning their careers who need to work in schooling or psychological well being in addition to a scarcity of kid psychiatrists.

Steering and adjustment counselors, faculty social employees, psychologists, and nurses are working more durable than ever, with fewer sources, to assist college students with critical psychological sicknesses and their households, and are left to elucidate the inexplicable: why they’ve to attend till they’re seen by a supplier.

Thomas B. Danforth


The author is a licensed faculty psychologist, medical neuropsychologist, and licensed well being supplier. He holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology.

Prevention is essential to addressing rising psychological well being considerations

There isn’t any doubt that faculties are important companions in addressing the behavioral well being disaster for youngsters within the nation (“Report appears to be like to better function for faculties in behavioral well being disaster”). The work of the NAN Challenge to offer center and highschool college students with psychological well being schooling and suicide prevention applications utilizing a peer-to-peer mannequin demonstrated that an upstream strategy is vital to assembly younger individuals’s pressing want for assist.

As John Crocker, Director of Psychological Well being and Habits Providers at Methuen Public Faculties, factors out within the article, prevention in faculties is essential. College students profit from info that destigmatizes behavioral well being points and a college local weather that encourages dialog and assist. Skilled growth, not just for psychological well being workers but additionally for classroom academics, can present the instruments and confidence for academics to establish and talk with college students with rising psychological well being issues and to refer them to sources.

An formidable roadmap for addressing youngsters’s behavioral well being has been developed, with far-reaching targets. Capability constructing for prevention-based companies must be a precedence of the plan.

Elaine Dalton

Founder and Chairman of the Government Board

Jake Cavanaugh

Government Director

NAN undertaking


The telephone quantity for the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

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