musings on the madness…

In Education, Musings, School Psychology, School violence on Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 13:00

the real madness.  not the madness of the occurrences in newtown.  education madness.  how this MIGHT have been avoided.  or at least how i feel i could have done something…were we not focusing on the wrong things.

1.  he has “some” kind of mental illness…

there are only a handful of “mental illnesses” with a higher than average propensity toward violence or carrying out violence. and, even fewer to do something of this magnitude. i have my suspicions as to what, if any, diagnosis, this person has (and, let me give you a clue, it’s not an autism spectrum disorder (asd), a learning disability, or obsessive compulsive disorder (ocd). at any rate, while NO unstable person should have access to a gun, i don’t want people thinking that this boils down to some mental illness and that being an excuse.  unless you are saying “someone MUST have seen the signs” as they have been known and written about for YEARS.

2. we already know the “signs.”  research.  read the literature.  BE INFORMED!

to me, what this shows so very clearly (more than the talk of second amendment rights OR gun control)

3.  i am not advocating that we shouldn’t talk of such things, just not now.

is the need for EARLY INTERVENTION via better early mental health screenings and resources, more education regarding mental health, resources for help…i could go on and on. ironic (but in an horrifically tragic way) that the SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST was among those killed.  SHE would have been one of the most qualified to screen, support, and follow children such as these (and, we DO have them). as a school psychologist in the age of education funding cuts and one person doing the work of what was once divided by two or three positions, WE CAN’T DO IT ALL.

4.  you know, i keep asking for the to be one of my super powers, but no luck yet.  maybe i can make it one of my evaluative goals for next year…

unfortunately, things like just taking time to get to know the kids, spending time doing things like reaching out, mentoring, being a real part of a school (as opposed to your FOUR schools) are difficult to come by.  i am confident we (i am speaking as a school psychologist, but counselors, teachers, administrators, etc. can tell you A LOT about your kid/s) can be instrumental in screening and providing resources and intervention if we could just go back to doing all the other things we are good at

5. and, yes, we are good clinicians and do like our assessment, but we are not merely “testers” as much as we have been relegated to the role, we are not taking it gladly

i say this talk needs to be about stopping this crazy education-reform-value-added-data-driven madness and make education and mental health services (especially early INTERVENTION programs, NOT after the fact!) a priority in this country.  

6.  look i love sports and entertainment as much as the next, but there’s something off about a country that cares more about “reality” tv than the reality their kids face every day…the place they spend the majority of their time every week

PEOPLE! many times we are with your children more than you are! we mold YOUR most precious asset.

7.  it really should be.  if not, check yourself

why in the world would you want to CUT funding to education? why would you want LESS resources allotted? i don’t get it.  we pour money into entertainment, sports, alcohol…education should come first. these are kids. YOUR kids.

i just think we are focusing on the wrong things.  in the end, children and adults lost their lives.  other children will be haunted by this for days, weeks, months, and years to come.  how many kids need to be killed?  we can stop this now.


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