Violence and Aberrant Behavior of Youth

In the aftermath of the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School, Gov. Greg Abbott has repeatedly stressed the vital role school counselors and mental health professionals play in identifying troubled students When I hear about another case of needless violence and carnage, I get upset. I have always liked to believe that the U.S. is a great nation. It’s hard to see things that way when there’s a mass shooting nearly every day in this country and it seems that our hands are tied as to how to deal with it.

One cause of this problem that is often cited pertains to mental health problems. Sure, a lot of these killers have histories of being mentally unstable. But mental health problems are on the rise in this country. So if we really think that the issue of mental health is the primary issue at hand here, then we are in big trouble moving forward. Just saying “be vigilant” is not going to solve the problem.

As school budgets shrink, school-based mental-health services are losing resources and support. Children spend the majority of their day in schools,” says Tammy Hughes, PhD, a professor of counseling, psychology and special education at Duquesne University. “Further, because school psychologists work with parents and teachers, they are uniquely situated to help children across multiple settings.”Students who can’t focus, or are dealing with difficult family problems, won’t succeed in schools no matter how many reforms are put in place by governors or presidents,” he says.
He and others point out that education reform has focused on increasing academic test scores without considering students’ emotional well-being. “And there’s a direct correlation between emotional health and academic success,”
Lazarus says. We focus so much on teaching teenagers’ facts and getting them to pass exams, but perhaps we ought to pay at least as much attention to helping nurture their personalities
Bottom line is a failure of parents and teachers to raise fully functioning human beings. Then we also have genetic differences where one size does not fit all.

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Dansette