Sept 22, 2018, Jeffersonville (IN) News and Tribune: State seeks safer Hoosier schools http://www.newsandtribune.com/news/state-seeks-safer-hoosier-schools/article_049a23ae-bde7-11e8-8275-6b6f8541dcae.html With the May 25 Noblesville middle school shooting still fresh in everyone's minds, Anderson Community Schools started its academic year with an all-staff meeting dedicated to school security. … In that incident, a 13-year-old student shot and injured teacher Jason Seaman and student Ella Whistler, who was shot seven times. In response, Seaman wrestled the shooter to the ground. … School safety is also a priority of Gov. Eric Holcomb, who earlier this year requested a team of state leaders and other experts examine existing school protections and explore new ways to keep schools safe. A report with 18 recommendations was released Aug. 10, with four implemented immediately…. The report's recommendations focus on three areas: enhanced mental health services; safety equipment/technology/tools and training; and policy or legislative considerations. … Expanding mental health services available to school districts is seen as a significant way to prevent future school violence. ... • Make mental health services and resources available to every student. ... • Direct the Family and Social Services Administration to identify and implement a universal mental health screening tool for schools to use. • Require schools to participate in the CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey [although participation is optional on the part of students/families]. • Direct FSSA to provide more training to educators on mental health risk factor recognition; direct schools to implement the Mental Health First Aid programs and report the progress. In 2015, state law identified the need to implement a statewide Mental Health First Aid training program. … …. ISTA has been advocating for trauma-informed care, which involves recognizing and responding to traumatized students and referring them to outside professionals when necessary. "If we don't do something about addressing that trauma, then it's impossible to really get to the heart of education and what that student needs educationally when they have so much emotional baggage," Meredith said…. "I hope they acknowledge we're at a point where we simply can't do more with less. We are at a breaking point in terms of school funding," Meredith said…. Recently, the Vigo County School Corp., in partnership with Hamilton Center, was awarded $2.8 million in federal funds over the next five years to better respond to the mental health needs of school children. … Vigo was chosen in part because it has a strong partnership with Hamilton Center and it is "already offering great mental, emotional and social support services" benefiting students, said Adam Baker, IDOE spokesman.... The district will use the grant to train additional staff in Mental Health First Aid; add a mental health coordinator for the school district; over the five-year grant period, screen at least 90 percent of students for early identification of mental health needs; and increase student/family access to treatment and wraparound services. The grant funds will help ensure that all children who need mental health services have access to those services, said Rick Stevens, VCSC assistant director of student services and project manager. … The state Department of Education has shown a commitment to students mental, social and emotional health. It has hired Christy Berger as assistant director of social, emotional, and behavioral wellness. "Indiana is one of only a few states in the nation to dedicate a position of this kind to social emotional learning efforts," stated Jennifer McCormick, state superintendent. …
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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