Mar 2, 2019, KGW8-TV, Portland, OR: Straight Talk: Classrooms in Crisis (Part 2) https://www.kgw.com/video/news/investigations/classrooms-in-crisis/straight-talk-classrooms-in-crisis-part-2/283-86a61814-5fba-491f-b3e4-833035e26194 “We’re talking about our classrooms in crisis. Thousands of teachers marched in Salem [OR] earlier this month demanding smaller class sizes, help from trained aides, and more counselors. They say it’s the only way to combat disruptive behavior—sometime violent outbursts by students affecting classrooms, students and teachers, in all grade levels in all parts of the state.”… An estimated 4,500 teachers attended the rally. “…I’ve had about 4 students this year make suicide comments. So 10 year olds are coming to school with a whole different suitcase filled with stuff than they used to.” “…Kids that do experience these traumatic events like homelessness are becoming disruptive, but it’s not just those students. “It’s students in kindergarten with parents that are married, with involved parents, that are just having a hard time, and they’re acting out or they’re mimicking what these other students are doing in their classroom. …” The Oregon Education Assoc. wants reduced class sizes and more counselors/mental health services, teachers training. They also calls for early identification for SPED students/behavior problems, “diverse range of instructional settings,” and “clarify physical restraint and intervention protocol.” Government officials promise more money. Educators are talking to parents of disruptive students. “These students need so much support” that teachers are leaving the profession. “In buildings where there are not enough nurses, counselors, psychologists, special ed teachers, the classroom teacher then becomes all of those in one. Number one, we weren’t trained to do that, and number two, that’s just a lot when you have a huge class full of kiddos who are looking to you to be nurturing… I’m not able to teach.” New teachers won’t stay in teaching. Parents need to call legislators. More money is the answer
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.