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DSM V Replacing ABC In Schools

Abadnonned schoolBy Anne Dachel

We’ve been told for the last twenty-five years that all the kids everywhere with autism were nothing new, that all the features of autism—being nonverbal, stimming, obsessing, having  anxiety and meltdowns, and wandering—are just things that come with the diagnosis. We only needed to be aware and to accept. The dramatic change in the behavior of children, referred to as autism, has never been called “a crisis” by any U.S. health official. EVER.

Suddenly things are different. 

There are now so many children in our schools who simply can’t function like kids have always been expected to function. There are lots of labels and lots of accommodations being made to help these students get through the day at school. Autism has to take a backseat to the big percentages of kids who need special help. We’re told in news stories that research shows one in 5 or even one in 4 students has a mental health problem.  NOW it’s a crisis. We need more money to help these kids.

20 percent? 25 percent?

How is that possible? Is the same true for adults? Does the one in 4/one in 5 rate apply to teachers, doctors, police officers? It’s an incredibly scary world out there.

If this is what’s happening just to our children, why aren’t we doing something to stop it? Why isn’t all this the equivalent of a four alarm fire to school officials and the medical community?

Incredibly, there are two reasons that we’re given for all of this: too much social media and bad parents who traumatize their children.

Just like we learn to accept more and more and more children with autism, mental health issues are now a normal and acceptable part of childhood as well. Here are recent stories that prove my point. Schools have to do something, and they are. They’re hiring more counselors, they’re allying themselves with local mental health facilities, and they’re adding more police presence in schools. Since no one is doing anything to address the root cause of all this, it must mean that they probably expect things will get worse.

Feb 18, 2018, Williamsport (PA) Sun—Gazette: Out and About

Dr. Kathleen Lynne Lane will headline Bloomsburg University’s McDowell Institute Speaker Series on Monday and Tuesday.

Lane, a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas, will focus the series on the social, emotional and behavioral wellness of children who may experience non-academic barriers to learning such as adverse childhood experiences or trauma.

Her research delivers valuable information for teachers in pre-kindergarten through high school settings using three-tiered methods to screen for the development of learning and behavioral challenges and respond to existing learning challenges.

Feb 18, 2018, Salisbury (NC) Post: Take a deep breath: Koontz launches resiliency program to help kids cope with stress


They’re only 5, 6, 8, 10-years-old — but life has already thrown some elementary school students more punches than they can handle. Rowan County children walk into school every day with the scales stacked against them; bearing the weight of abuse, poverty or community violence — and when one more weight is added to the pile, they break.

“The response could be fight or freeze,” Christy Lockheart, a social worker at Koontz Elementary said. “And it’s out of their control.”

Lockheart, and others who specialize in working with children, refer to childhood trauma as Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs; and have seen firsthand how multiple instances of trauma can cripple a student’s future. The CDC reports that one in six children nationally have experienced one or more adverse childhood experiences.

According to the CDC, ACEs can range from a divorce or mental illness in the home to sexual abuse, and have been linked to future substance abuse, risky behaviors, chronic illness and even early death. In school, it can impair memory and learning.

Feb 18, 2018, (UK) South Wales Guardian: Schools to be trained to help pupils overcome the effects of childhood trauma

Every school in Wales is being encouraged to take up a new training package so that staff can help pupils overcome the damaging effects of early childhood trauma.

Teachers, lunchtime supervisors and other support staff will be offered training to make them more aware of the life-long impact adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have on pupils.

ACEs include family breakdown or bereavement, verbal and physical abuse, drug and alcohol abuse in the home, having a parent in prison, sexual abuse and mental illness. Research by Public Health Wales and Bangor University shows that 41% of adults with four or more ACEs are now suffering low mental health well being..

Feb 18, 2018, (UK) Tes: Need to know: What schools must do to keep pupils safe

Special educational needs and disability​ (SEND): A new paragraph says schools should carefully consider the risk of using restraint or isolation for children with SEND, “given the additional vulnerability of the group”. It says that proactive behaviour support can reduce risky behaviour and the need to use restraint.

Feb 19, 2018, Rapid City (SD) Journal: Pilot program helps schools address mental health care needs

In March, the school district and BMS will begin a pilot program intended to provide mental health services to children and families that would otherwise slip through the cracks.

“We have a lot of students who need mental health services and this is just one step in the right direction to create a pathway for them to find services,” said school district lead counselor Dana Livermont in a Journal interview this week. “I know the need is great.”

Feb 19, 2018, Tampa Bay, News 9: Meet Merlin: Therapy dog helps Tampa elementary school students

The dog is there to help students who need extra support.

"If I'm mad and I touch him, he calms me down," fifth-grader Tony Corbett said after playing with Merlin.

Teacher Anna Gibbs said she has seen a decrease in anxiety and aggressive behaviors in her classroom since Merlin started coming to the school.

Feb 19, 2018, Columbus (OH) Dispatch: Akron school superintendent seeks top job in Columbus

… On Feb. 12, hundreds of Akron teachers picketed a school board meeting, holding signs and chanting for safer schools. Twenty-two teachers have filed grievances this school year about the way the district has handled verbal and physical assaults by students.

That includes one teacher who was body-slammed to the floor by a student, and then more recently was punched by another student. …

“Instead of taking a no-tolerance approach, why don’t we try to get to the bottom of some of these situations?” James said. Inner-city kids who get into trouble often come from very difficult home situations, and often have special needs or an undiagnosed mental illness, he said.

Before the Feb. 12 rally, he said, the district sat down with teachers’ union members and agreed to modify discipline practices and to provide more special-education staff members.


Feb 19, 2018, Allentown (PA) Morning Call: Allentown Schools to hold public forum on safety in the wake of Parkland shooting

Tretter advocated hiring more staff, such as security guards and counselors, to promote physical safety measures and support students who are grappling with trauma or mental and emotional health needs.

“With the ranks of our counseling folks, we could have 10 times what we have and it might not be enough,” she said. “I truly believe those are places were we should have more. We should be able to give the kids the support that they need like that.”

Tretter echoed other education experts in the Lehigh Valley, who also called for recognizing and treating students with emotional and mental health issues in the wake of the Florida shooting. …


Feb 19, 2018, Prince Frederick, MD, Calvert Recorder: Calvert school officials respond to Florida shooting, rumors

… In recent years, the school system has been working more to help students who need more social and emotional help and connecting them with social workers in the school as well as resources outside the school.

Feb 19, 2018, Wilmington (NC) Star News: The first 2,000 days of your life

There are 2,000 days -- or five years -- between the time a child is born and when he or she will begin kindergarten.

Many local organizations, community members, business owners and elected officials gathered to spread awareness of the importance of a child’s brain development during those first five years.

Morrow said that when children have a nurturing and stable environment they thrive but when children suffer from neglect or are in an abusive environment, the prefrontal cortex doesn’t get the same chance to develop.

This year’s Summit has held at Lifepoint Church. Attendees watched a screening of, “Resilience,” a documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences and a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress. After the film, they broke into groups to discuss a strategic plan for the community to confront issues of toxic stress for young children in New Hanover County.

Feb 19, 2018, Alliance (OH) Review: Paws-itively supportive: Therapy dogs used to calm students

Mason joined Lake as an “employee” in November 2016 as a specially trained therapy dog.

His mission is to improve moods, relieve anxiety and alleviate behavioral issues, according to school publications. School officials say they’ve seen a dramatic calm in a child in the midst of a tantrum when the dog suddenly saunters into the room. 

Feb 20, 2018, (UK) Braintree and Witham Times: Nursery's sensory room appeal boosted by £500 donation

A community group donated £500 towards a pre-school's bid to build a sensory room for children to enjoy. …

The money will be used to turn a shed in the garden of the school into a sensory and quiet room.

Simone, an early years educator and special needs coordinator at the pre school, said: 'We are so grateful for this money, as it will enable us to create the sensory room, a quiet place with very neutral coloured and sensory toys, for all children, but especially those with special needs to come and relax. …

Feb 20, 2018, Jamestown (NY) Post—Journal: Adverse Experiences Affecting Students

Adverse Childhood Experiences are affecting Jamestown students in high numbers.

“We have a national crisis when it comes to the mental health of our teens and our children,” said Bret Apthorpe, superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools“It’s a national crisis. The number of kids experiencing trauma, we can’t even imagine, is staggering.”

In a news release from the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, an ACE or ACEs are described as stressful or traumatic experiences in childhood that include neglect, physical or verbal abuse and a range of environmental or relational factors. …

Apthorpe said schools are not equipped to deal with students who are subjected to one of these experiences. …

Feb 20, 2018, (UK) Manchester Evening News: Secondary school expulsions up by more than 40pc in a year - and the city's rate is twice national average

Rising family poverty, new school performance measures and budget cuts have all been blamed for a sharp spike in expulsions from Manchester’s secondary schools.

The number of children permanently excluded in the year to June rocketed 43pc - more than half of them pupils with special educational needs.

Manchester’s MP has warned new league tables are punishing schools for having challenging pupils on their books, leading to more and more expulsions.

Other education figures have pointed to growing levels of emotional problems, hunger and tiredness among deprived schoolchildren.

Feb 20, 2018, Tampa Bay Times: Pasco sensory room a comforting resource for students with autism

For students who have trouble processing sensory information such as movement, lights, sounds, smells, textures and tastes, a sensory diet that integrates therapeutic play activities with school work can foster better concentration, engagement and self-regulation skills.

In Pasco County schools, these tools and activities often are used during scheduled occupational therapy sessions or brought into the classroom in a rolling "sensory cart" that can be stored away when not appropriate.

But for Pine View Elementary students enrolled in the social-behavioral communication program, a new sensory room just a few steps from their classroom provides a permanent safe space to decompress, self-soothe or engage in an activity that can help them get back to the lesson at hand.

"A lot of our students are non-verbal, …


Feb 20, 2018, Fargo (ND) Valley News: Area school with 'time-out spaces' discusses meaning behind rooms

Looking at an elementary school, you might not know of this room. It's a room where students are sent for a time-out. Some parents are saying, it's not right. But the people we spoke with say it's only used in severe situations. …

Assistant Superintendent for Elementary in West Fargo Public Schools, Beth Slette. …

Slette tells us, since the start of using these rooms a couple years ago, they have evolved with the children. The rooms vary in size and typically have padded walls. Slette says, many of them don't have doors and none of them have locks.


Feb 21, 2018, Leesburg, VA, Loudoun Times—Mirror: Loudoun Office of Special Education, partners to hold meeting on seclusion practices

The Loudoun County Public Schools Office of Special Education, Parent Resource Services and the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) will hold a seminar on the school system's use of restraints and seclusion on students. …

SEAC works with the school board, administrators, parents, and teachers who are responsible for students receiving special education services. SEAC advises the School Board on the unmet needs of special education students.

The meeting comes a week after the Times-Mirror published a report detailing parents' stories of alleged mistreatment by LCPS staff of students with special needs.

Feb 21, 2018, (Ireland) Tipperary Star: Littleton NS unveil 'state of the art' sensory room thanks to local community

Over 18 months the community of Littleton organised everything from cake sales to bingo nights to raise a total of €15,000 for a state of the art sensory room at the school. …

The idea for a sensory room arose after staff felt it would provide additional supports for children with special needs at the school.

“Every single child has benefitted from the addition of this room - it acts as a mindfulness zone, gives kids a chance to reflect and is a relaxing zone for children struggling with emotional difficulties.”

Earlier this month the school also received exciting news that they have been sanctioned for a new one ASD unit, set to open next September. …

Feb 22, 2018, Columbia, SC, CBS19: Noticing Signs of Violent Behavior in Children

It's difficult to understand why violence happens and to predict when it will happen. It's even more difficult to predict who will be violent in the future, but Jo Mason, M.D. said there are some risk factors to look for.  …

Mason is a psychiatrist with Palmetto Health USC Medical Group.

She said some risks include a history of aggressive behavior, witnessing violence in person or through various forms of media, substance abuse, neglect and bullying. Mason said to also look for a sudden drop in grades, self-isolation and changes in behavior.

Feb 22, 2018, Chalkbeat, Memphis: Looking for the ‘why’ behind student suspensions, Memphis schools turn to behavior specialists — again

… Shelby County Schools hired 19 behavior specialists for the 2017-18 school year.

Shaw and Spikner are among 19 behavior specialists hired this year by Shelby County Schools to serve nearly all of its 145 schools. By giving students individual attention, they seek to pinpoint the root cause of misbehavior and then work with those students to make better choices. The goal is to help avoid school suspensions, as well as to acclimate suspended students back to school.  …

Feb 22, 2018, Annapolis Patch: School Board Adds Teachers, Boosts Employee Pay

Through a series of amendments, the Board boosted the number of classroom teachers to reduce class sizes and the number of additional special education teaching positions. It also added to the number of requested school counselors, school psychologists, and social worker to address the social and emotional needs of students.   

Feb 22, 2018, Kalamazoo, MI, WWMT: Concerned teachers demand change for Kalamazoo Public Schools

The teachers say more needs to be done to hold students accountable and to correct and treat disruptive behavior, especially in young students.

Kary Mack, a teacher at Hillside Middle School, said, “I love being a mom, and I love being a teacher no matter how hard it gets, but at the end of the day I have to be able to come home to my kids. I want a commitment to listening to the teachers to make sure we all feel safe and we all are supported."

Several teachers brought up a recent incident at Kalamazoo Central High School where a student was caught on camera jumping on a teacher who'd confronted him about being in the wrong classroom.

“It is so disturbing to watch a disturbed 3rd grader and 4th grader and 5th grader and not see services for those children.”

…“The little guy who was tearing up the hallway today, I've been watching him for three years. You can't help but think this is the child who will become the next Nikolas Cruz.”

Kalamazoo teachers are asking district leaders to review disciplinary procedures within the district and provide training for staff for trauma and crisis situations. …


Feb 22, 2018, KTVB—TV, Boise, ID: Nampa schools looking to identify 'invisible' students

In the case of Parkland, Florida, the shooter was described as a loner, outsider, and troubled student by his fellow peers. Here in Idaho, the Nampa School District is working on a framework to help identify those students who may feel invisible.

The framework is called Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports, also known as PBIS. The schoolwide approach teaches students how to be kind, respectful, and responsible. …

Central Elementary Principal Tami Vandeventer says her school also saw a need to help address those students dealing with trauma. …

Feb 22, 2018, ABC4, Salt Lake City: Lawmakers and education experts address teacher turnover in Utah

"Many of our students struggle socially, behaviorally, emotionally due to past or on-going trauma in their lives," said Limb. "That leaves secondary trauma for teachers who are hearing students' stories and trying to help them get through that trauma and learning how to respond to that trauma themselves and regulate their own emotions."

Feb 23, 2018, Santa Clarita, CA, SCV—TV News: State Education Department Sets New Social Emotional Learning Guidelines

The California Department of Education has released new guiding principles for teaching social and emotional skills, to help educators ensure students have the skills for success in school, careers and in the community.

One critical goal of the team is to compile and disseminate resources for educators about the effective integration of social and emotional learning in California’s classrooms and after-school settings. …

Feb 23, 2018, North Andover (MA) Eagle—Tribune: 9,070 student restraint cases statewide 'extremely disturbing,' says group that probed Haverhill complaints

Public school officials in Massachusetts say they had to physically restrain students more than 9,000 times during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Districts were required to report cases to the state for the first time as part of new rules meant to curb the practice. …

The release of the numbers also comes after recent complaints from parents in Haverhill and Lawrence about their special needs children being restrained or confined in timeout spaces in public schools in those cities.

The data shows that across Massachusetts in the 20126-2017 school year, the 9,070 restraint cases led to 244 injuries to students or staff. …

Feb 23, 2018, Prescott (AR) Courier: Howard Column: PUSD putting children, safety first

Each of our administrators plus additional key staff are also FEMA Emergency Management Institute-trained in a variety of emergency response scenarios. The school leaders are vigilant, and some, I would say, are near experts. …

But in Prescott, as across the country, we have seen a sharp and quick rise in our students’ need for social, emotional, and mental health support. We now train our teachers in what we call trauma-informed instruction, because students across the country come to us with a background of trauma that we need to understand as we work to help them learn. Schools across the country are groping for more professional help with students that have emotional and mental problems.

Feb 23, 2018, (Germany) Deutsche Welle: Germany: Elementary school teachers put out call for help over 'violent' students

Teachers at an elementary school in Germany have appealed to parents for help dealing with "extreme physical violence" from young students. With disciplinary measures failing, teachers are also turning to the police.

Frequent fighting on the playground and in classrooms, children running out of class and leaving school, as well as "permanent" disruptions have turned normal class time into a daily nightmare for an elementary school in central Germany, southeast of Hanover.

"This is about violence in the school and sabotage," parents' council member Mandy Bähsel told MDR. She added that "children might not even dare to go to school because they're afraid of classmates because they've been beaten."

She added that there were children in the first, second and third grades at the school that don't respect teachers or other students.

Feb 23, 2018, (UK) Orkney Orcadian: Childhood experiences documentary shown in Orkney

Resilience, a groundbreaking documentary on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is available for public screenings in communities throughout Orkney, starting in St Margaret’s Hope next Wednesday evening.

Following a showing of the documentary last May, six Third Sector organisations formed an ACEs collective to look at how this new science can contribute to improving health outcomes and life circumstances for children, families and communities here in Orkney.

Local campaigner Kevin Denvir said: “There is a strong body of evidence emerging that confirms the experience a child has at home with parents is the strongest predictor of future health, happiness and success.


Feb 23, 2017, (UK)  Hertfordshire Comet: Leader of Home-Start Hertfordshire calls for support in preventing severe mental health problems in children

We have the opportunity now to prevent children and young people experiencing poor mental health and self-harming in the future, says the chief executive of a family support charity who is asking for readers’ support in changing Government policy.

The Government is currently asking people for their views on a green paper - Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision.


Feb 23, 2017, Bangor (ME) Daily News: Want safer, healthier Maine schools? Hire more nurses

Given the national attention on adolescent mental health prevention and treatment, we may be missing an opportunity to address our population’s mental health needs by failing to adequately staff nurses in Maine’s high schools. In 2015, only 10 percent of young people over age 12 who needed substance-use treatment received it, and Maine was ranked among one of the states in the U.S. with the highest percentage of people suffering from mental, behavioral or emotional disorders.


Feb 23, 2017, Fox 61, Hartford, CT: Easing student stress with therapy dogs in Clinton

School can be overwhelming and exhausting, and the dogs provide happiness and relief for The Morgan School students. Prevention coordinator, Kelley Edwards, is the head of REACT, a student organization that challenges Morgan teens to make smart choices. Kelly believes that Morgan is "cutting edge" on mental wellness techniques. The therapy dogs are one of the stress relieving resources available to students.

Feb 25, 2018, Salem (OH) News: Mental health an issue—Columbiana County ESC cites hurdles to providing counseling for students

With school shootings and violence on everyone’s minds, the Columbiana County Educational Service Center board talked about mental health priorities in the school.

Superintendent Anna Marie Vaughn said the local schools and communities have all talked about the need for additional mental health counseling for students for at least the past five years. However, Vaughn said it is difficult to provide more and more without the resources to support it. …


Feb 25, 2018, Ocean City (NJ) Daily: Ocean City Focuses on School Security, Safety

In the aftermath of the Florida school shooting, Ocean City officials are offering assurances that the local schools are safe for students and employees.

Ocean City’s three public schools are protected by a multilayered security system that not only includes physical barriers to prevent intruders from entering the buildings, but also focuses on the mental health of students, officials said.

During his remarks at the City Council meeting, Gillian maintained that much more needs to be done to address mental health as a way to prevent school violence. However, he added that people are reluctant to discuss mental health, in part because of the stigma attached to it.

“Mental health is scary, and it’s hard to talk about,” Gillian said.

Security expert Spencer Coursen, founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Coursen Security Group, said stress-free havens such as Ocean City’s Wellness Room can help students immensely in coping with their emotional problems.

“Any opportunity we can give to children to come into a warm, welcoming and safe environment of acceptance is great,” Coursen said.

On Feb. 14, Ocean City’s school district expanded its mental-health program by launching an on-demand video and informational series that helps students and their families navigate through a range of emotional and social issues, Schultz said.

“It is our goal to keep families connected and informed about the rapid-paced, ever-changing world in which our students live,” she said.

Coursen said Cruz serves as a dramatic example of the need for schools to have a “clearinghouse of concern” to identify disruptive students and take action before they explode in violence.

Feb 25, 2018, KFBB—TV, Missoula, MT: Discovering the Future: Loy Elem Sensory Enrichment and Exploration

Stacey Dobbyn's class at Loy elementary received $1,500 from the Great Falls Public School Discovery Grant Program. The grant allowed the teacher to purchase materials to help special educations students with reading, writing, math, and science who have sensory processing issues.

Stacey said that in some cases student can be overloaded and the sensory enrichment class helps students to even things out. …


Feb 25, 2018, Boulder (CO) Daily Camera: St. Vrain releases results summary of in-house student wellness survey

The St. Vrain Valley School District is using results of its in-house student wellness survey to help set priorities, including boosting student mental health and improving school culture.

On mental health, 33 percent reported that they don't have healthy ways to manage stress and about half aren't comfortable talking about feelings with others. Another 36 percent experienced sadness or hopelessness for extended periods, while 15 percent had contemplated suicide. …

Feb 25, 2018, Sonoma Valley (CA) Sun: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime

Two experts in the emerging field of Adverse Child Experiences – the episodes of childhood trauma and stress that can have debilitating lifelong effects – are coming to the Sonoma Valley to share their findings….

Armed with research on Adverse Child Experiences (ACE) showing the dramatic public health benefits of the Self-Healing Communities Model (SHCM), Porter will guide a broad coalition of community leaders, nonprofits and agencies in galvanizing resources to address toxic stress in Sonoma Valley.

Feb 25, 2018, Bridgewater, MA, Wicked Local: 6 Brockton schools reported over 6 students restrained

Districts were required to report cases of student restraint to the state for the first time last year as part of new rules meant to curb the practice. Massachusetts state law forbids physical restraint in public schools except in emergencies, saying it can be used only as a last resort and if a student’s behavior poses an immediate threat.

BROCKTON – Two city middle schools, two elementary schools and two special-needs programs saw the highest rates in the district of students having to be restrained by staff in the last school year, according to state data.

The since-shuttered Goddard Alternative School, an early childhood special education program whose students were moved last year to the Huntington School building, saw 11 students – 22 percent of the school’s total enrollment – restrained at least once, according to the data, which was released by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in response to public records requests from The Enterprise and the Associated Press.

Feb 25, 2018, Leesburg, VA, Loudoun Times—Mirror: Loudoun County Public Schools opens dialogue on restraint, seclusion; parents remain concerned

Loudoun County Public Schools on Thursday hosted a forum on its restraint and seclusion tactics for students with special needs in an attempt to educate parents and assuage concerns. Despite the two informational sessions, parents still expressed anger, confusion and concern.

Feb 26, 2018, WJBC, Bloomington, IL: Daniel: Schools need to focus on mental health

Daniel said he would be okay with boosting the number of school resource officers, but says schools need to be able to bring in more mental health counselors and therapists to help students who feel disconnected. …

“And I think you need to bring the mental health specialists. Where are the psychiatrists in this discussion?”

Daniel said the problem is there are too many students who have lost connection at school and he says schools must be willing to spend more on mental health.

Feb 27, 2018, Los Angeles Times: L.A. County supervisors seek to expand program that aims to reduce school shootings

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to pursue expansion of a county program designed to prevent school shootings. …

Since the program was created in 2009, mental health professionals have worked with law enforcement to identity and provide help to students who show signs of potential violence.

The program currently has 10 mental health professionals on staff, but because of an increase in calls, Hahn said she thinks it needs to expand. …

Mar 1, 2018, Salem (OR) Statesman Journal: Student mental health crisis spurs Oregon to try in-school programs

For Salem school psychologist Chris Moore, it isn't uncommon to see a student come to school, settle into a routine and then, without warning, go into crisis. 

Maybe the student punches another kid in the face, flips over a desk and curses at the teacher, Moore said. Then they run out of the school. And the teacher has to chase after them.

"In their mind, they are trying to survive," he said.

Severe depression and anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder are some of the increasingly prevalent and least-understood mental health disorders among K-12 students.

About one in five — 20 percent — youth nationwide are affected by some type of mental disorder to such an extent they have difficulty functioning, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Salem-Keizer Public School’s rate is even higher — closer to one in four of the district's nearly 42,000. 

The pervasiveness of mental health issues and child suicide rates leads Oregon to rank as the worst state in the country for mental illness. And the state's lack of child psychiatrists and school counselors leaves families waiting for months to get help.

Though schools aren’t fully equipped to handle intense, mental health issues, some Oregon districts are starting to develop ways to bring services to students.

Moore said about 5 percent, or 2,000 students, in the district engage in that extreme behavior.

It’s important for educators to understand how trauma — emotional and physical — affects the brain, Moore said, that there may not be an environmental trigger that sets the brain off and that there are things a person can do to reduce the impact of the trauma students have experienced.

But there are still students whose needs “far exceed even that level of intervention,” Moore said, explaining mental illness and trauma often go hand-in-hand.



Mar 1, 2018, Dayton (OH) Daily News: Officials hope mental health screenings will prevent school violence

The plan to offer free, annual mental health screenings to students at all school districts in Montgomery County was in development before the Feb. 14 mass school shooting in Florida, but the tragedy has put an even bigger spotlight on the need for intervention before people get hurt, officials say.

Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines for diagnosing and treating depression in teens, recommending annual screenings for all children 12 and over.

Mar 1, 2018, Woodbridge, VA, Inside Nova: After Parkland, Prince William schools consider hiring dozens of mental health professionals

Before the Parkland massacre ever brought the issue to a head, Superintendent Steve Walts proposed that the division hire one new mental health specialist, a part-time special education psychologist and two part-time social workers. Yet board members are signaling a willingness to go far beyond those modest additions to the workforce, in order to help troubled students get treatment before they ever turn to something as horrific as a school shooting.

“People want to see us with more mental health professionals,” said Alyson Satterwhite of the Gainesville District. “Our parents see this as a must-add and are demanding this.”


In the fall of 2017, news of the six-by-six bare pine boxes—which have, in their various forms, been called "seclusion enclosures," "isolation booths," "isolation boxes," and "time-out rooms"—used to confine elementary school students in eastern Iowa, sometimes for over an hour at a time, went viral. As the headlines mounted, angry parents learned they did not legally have to be informed of such measures if taken against their children by educators. Critics contended that the use of these boxes amounted to solitary confinement.

There have been a flurry of cases involving isolation boxes over the last six years. In 2012, parents at Longview's Mint Valley Elementary School in Washington state were scandalized by the alleged use of a padded cell. In 2014, schools in the Mansfield Independent School District in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were found to place students in windowless, concrete "recovery rooms" around 800 times over the course of the 2013–14 school year; their stays in the cells sometimes spanned hours, even an entire school day. Special education students, it was noted, were often singled out for confinement in recovery rooms. In 2016, parents in Kansas were enraged after a fourth-grader was kept in one such box as punishment for being disruptive in class.

There have been other questionable methods used to punish school students. More recently, an Indiana nine-year-old with autism made headlines after being handcuffed and arrested by police on campus. The story, like so many others, became one of competing narratives: The nine-year-old's family claims he was defending himself against violent bullying, and the school claims the child himself was violent against a teacher and other students.

Though the specifics of each incident vary, there's a clear theme here: Seclusion, confinement, and restraint are overwhelmingly used in schools against students with disabilities, particularly cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial disabilities. A 2014 analysis of the Department of Education's Civil Rights Data Collection by NPR and ProPublica concluded that it was children with disabilities who were being secluded or restrained in 75 percent of incidents. …

Mar 2, 2018, Naples (FL) Daily News: 'We have got to change:' Gov. Rick Scott highlights $500M school safety plan in Naples

Gov. Rick Scott stopped Friday in Naples to meet with local law enforcement and highlight his $500 million plan to address school safety in the wake of one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history.

Additionally, he said, "significant investments" in mental health were needed, including mental health counselors at all schools.

Mar 2, 2018, Sugarcreek, OH, Budget Newspaper: Rainbow Connection meeting local health needs in Tuscarawas County

Another area of focus for the organization in recent years has been purchasing sensory items and equipment for local school districts to help them meet the needs of students with autism, according to Haueter.

Recently, Haueter had an opportunity to visit two local schools that received funding from the organization last year to furnish sensory rooms that are designed give students with sensory needs a designated place to calm down or refocus.  …  

Mar 2, 2018, Greensburg (PA) Tribune: School psychologists prepare for crisis in training at Duquesne University

About 60 school psychologists from about 30 schools across southwest Pennsylvania gathered at Duquesne University this week to learn crisis prevention and recovery techniques.

The training included ways to identify students who might need extra mental health support, helping students recover from a traumatic event and teaching other school community members, such as parents and teachers, how to talk to students about a crisis. …

Mar 3, 2018, Effingham (IL) Daily News: Schools across the area reflect on safety

Threats have increased recently, including one that led to the Thursday closure of North Clay schools and another against Cowden-Herrick schools earlier in the week.

Law enforcement and schools investigate each threat, trying to determine if the threat has teeth. …

Right now Effingham County has three school resource officers to cover the five school districts.

“I believe police officers should be in every school in America,” said Effingham Police Chief Jeff Fuesting. …


Mar 3, 2018, Pablo, MT, Char—Koosta News: Tester: Increase mental health resources in Montana’s public schools

U.S. Senator Jon Tester is taking action to increase mental health care resources at Montana’s public schools. …


Mar 3, 2018, (UK) Guardian: Screen teenagers annually for depression, say US doctors

On Monday the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published new guidance that adolescents should be examined every year from the age of 12 to ensure those with depression can get timely help.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the UK government finished consulting on a green paper on adolescent mental health, which focuses on early intervention and suggests schools should play a more central role. Strategies include mental health awareness training for school staff and incorporating mental health into personal, social and health education lessons. …

Universal screening as advocated by the AAP would involve doctors giving teenagers questionnaires on their emotional wellbeing to complete as part of regular checkups.  …

Patel suggested screening should be twinned seamlessly with a treatment programme including psychological interventions and antidepressant medication.

Mar 3, 2018, PBS News Hour: Opinion: Schools shouldn’t wait for red flags to address student mental health needs

 One out of every 4 or 5. That’s how many students will display a significant mental health problem over the course of their lifetime.


Such students can be identified early with considerable accuracy if educators are given the right training and tools. Unfortunately, most schools rely on reactive methods, like office discipline referrals, to figure out which students need behavioral and mental health services.

Research shows this approach of waiting until students act out in school is inefficient and leads to as many as 80 percent of those with mental health needs to fall through the cracks.

Such concerns have heightened in the wake of the Parkland high school massacre. News reports indicate the alleged shooter exhibited a number of troubling behaviors, raising questions about his mental health status and whether more could have been done to help him sooner.

To address the issue of students falling through the cracks, more schools should adopt proactive, universal screening tools.

Mar 3, 2018, Mankato (MN) Free Press: Dayton proposes $21M school safety, mental health investment

The governor's Safe and Secure Schools Act would use general fund money to give about $15.9 million to school districts for safety feature upgrades. Districts would receive $18 per pupil for the upgrades; each district would receive at least $22,000 under the formula, according to state officials. That money could be used for more infrastructure, counselors or resource officers, among other things.

Districts could apply for grants out of a $5 million appropriation to add more mental health counselors or find other ways to improve student access to mental health care. …



Mar 4, 2018, Schenectady (NY) Daily Gazette: As educators, lawmakers focus on school safety, some districts eye resource officers—'It helps keep people sharp, it helps calm people down in crisis situations'

Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy C.J. Rust walks his beat inside the halls of Amsterdam High School, where he graduated in 2010 and now serves as the school’s armed protector.

He meets with administrators, discussing specific concerns if necessary, assists in training and drills, patrols schools entrances, visits health and other classes, and meets with students in his office and around the school….

“I believe there is a need for school resource officers all across the nation,” Rust said in an interview Friday, when he spent the snow day on routine patrols, assisting struggling drivers and at accidents. …

Starting next school year, districts will be mandated to include more mental health matters into their health curriculum, an effort to help students become more aware of the social and emotional strains and stresses in their lives.

Schenectady schools recently hired a psychiatric nurse practicioner to head up a team of social workers and counselors housed in an isolated wing of Keane Elementary School and charged with handling serious student cases from around the district. …

Mar 4, 2018, Kansas City (MO) Star: How can schools prevent threats of violence? Here’s one idea (EDITORIAL)


With effective laws already on the books to address school safety, it’s going to take creative solutions to remedy the onslaught of recent threats of school violence.

Expanding access to mental health services could be a start.

To help prevent such acts, school districts could improve mental health services for at-risk students. But a lack of funding makes that a steep challenge. …

Mar 4, 2018, El Dorado (AR) News—Times: Identifying warning signs—Schools work to offer mental health services to students who may be struggling


In the ESD, there is at least one guidance counselor available on every campus and the high school has three. They have training in recognizing symptoms of mental illness and if their intervention is insufficient, they can refer students and parents to local facilities, such as South Arkansas Regional Health Center or Day Spring Behavioral Health.

When teachers notice that a student’s behavior is different than it usually would be, they can discreetly notify the guidance counselors.

Mar 4, 2018, WXYZ—TV, Detroit, MI: Michigan House to explore arming teachers, "red flag" laws

Michigan legislators and the governor's office are roiling over two gun-control measures: arming trained teachers and removing guns from individuals with mental health symptoms.

Mar 4, 2018, North Carolina Public Radio: When Kids Come To School With Trauma, These NC Teachers Try And Listen

Trauma and stress from things like hunger and housing instability have been scientifically shown to derail brain development. At the least, it distracts kids from learning. …

After some digging, staff discovered this behavior was a result of the student’s home life.

“Seeing it through that lens of trauma, we understand that it’s not just that this student doesn’t want to perform right,” Bullock said. “It’s not that she doesn’t want to do right. She has a context and a background that has, kind of, put her in a place where she’s fighting.” …

Taking the time to understand that context requires a mindset shift on the part of teachers. That's where the Public School Forum of North Carolina, an advocacy organization, has stepped in. This year it started the NC Resilience and Learning Project, through which it is helping Pattillo and two other schools in Edgecombe County and one in Rowan County to better support students who have experienced trauma.

Through this grant-funded project, Pattillo staff received training on the effects of trauma on kids before the school year started. Bullock said that left a mark. …


Mar 4, 2018, Minneapolis, MN, Minnesota Daily: More UMN students seeking mental health services

As more students nationwide seek mental health services, some schools have to adjust their mental health service models. …

Experts attribute the jump to increased openness about mental health and awareness of services on campus. As more students seek these services nationwide, some colleges have adapted their programming to keep up with the growing demand. …

For the last several years, demand for mental health services on campus has increased. Boynton’s Mental Health Clinic has seen a 20 percent increase in visitation numbers this year compared to last year at this time, Christenson said.


Mar 4, 2018, Nashville Public Radio: Concern About School Shootings Spill Into Tennessee's Student Crisis Hotline

Since the fatal Parkland, Fla., school shooting, Tennessee has been hearing more school violence threats through the state’s hotline for youth experiencing a mental health crisis. In the past two weeks, one nonprofit has dispatched its counselors to meet face-to-face with more than 40 young people regarding threats. 

That’s in sharp contrast to a typical week, when it would be rare to field more than one school threat call. …


Mar 5, 2018, Detroit MI, Macomb (County) Daily: Threats in Macomb County schools are a growing epidemic

Increasingly, the school environment has less to do with teaching the three R’s and more to do with managing disorder created by highly-publicized school shootings and copy cat threats.

Thursday, Warren Mayor James Fouts and Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer hosted a roundtable discussion with representatives of city school districts, parochial schools and charter schools as well as officials and officers from Macomb Community College to discuss safety. The purpose was to exchange concerns and needs, and discuss how police and school officials can work together to prevent school shootings.

Mar 5, 2018, Washington Post: What’s wrong, and how do we help? Getting children the right mental-health support

One in every 5 young people between the ages of 13 and 18 live with a mental-health condition — yet the average delay between the onset of symptoms and intervention is between eight and 10 years. Those statistics come from the National Institute of Mental Health, and they underscore the problems facing parents as well as educators who are raising and/or teaching children who have untreated mental illnesses.

A new study in the March issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that more than half of the children in the United States who receive mental-health care now get it in school settings, and that if school-based personnel are properly trained and supported, such services can be effective.


Mar 5, 2018, Charlotte, NC, WSOC—TV: 9 investigates special-needs students getting suspended at higher rates

They’re some of the most vulnerable students in the classroom, but a sobering school discipline report showed that students with special needs are far more likely to be disciplined than others.

Almost 1 out of 4 students suspended last school year had some kind of special need.

Garry Ginyard’s 8-year-old son Jeremiah has autism. He is one of more than 14,000 students with special needs in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district who are in what is called the exceptional children, or EC, program.


Mar 5, 2018, WBIR—TV, Knoxville, TN: 'Mental Health Mondays' change student body at Central High School

Central High School is tackling mental health with a proactive approach.

Each week, all 1,100 students take part in "Mental Health Monday."

The program launched last fall. It focuses on everything from bullying and toxic relationships, to eating disorders and more.

Ramsey said several other schools have contacted her about starting "Mental Health Mondays" programs at their schools.


Mar 5, 2018, NBC6, Miami: Florida Senate Passes School Safety Act

The Florida Senate has passed a school safety bill that would place new restrictions on rifle sales, allow some teachers to carry guns in schools and create new school mental health programs.


Mar 5, 2018, Middletown (NY) Times Herald: NY Senate OKs school security funds; rejects gun restrictions

Led by Republicans, the New York Senate voted to increase state funding to help schools pay for armed police and security upgrades Monday — but turned back Democratic efforts to advance new restrictions on firearm access.

They also included measures to mandate two annual active-shooter drills and set aside money for mental health services coordinators in local schools….

Mar 5, 2018, CBS3, Kalamazoo, MI: Kalamazoo mental health providers see increase in teen patients

Kids age 12 and up should undergo annual depression screenings, according to new guideline by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Therapist Michelle Zukowski-Serlin believes the yearly screenings during regular checkups could prevent teens from hurting themselves or hurting others.

Zukowski-Serlin, the executive director at Choices for Change Counseling agency in Kalamazoo, has seen an increase in teen patients in recent weeks. Some are students who are too scared to go to school, others are seeing her after making threatening comments.

Mar 6, 2018, Kearney, NE, ABC—TV: Hastings Public Schools staying proactive in tackling mental health issues

Hastings Public Schools Superintendent Craig Kautz told NTV they wrote a grant giving the schools the opportunity to tackle student mental health issues.

"Right now, statistically researchers have found that about one in every four students has some kind of mental health issue," Kautz said.

Mar 6, 2018, Ottumwa (IA) Courier: District addresses seclusion ‘misunderstandings’

Ottumwa Community School District issued a statement Monday defending its use of timeout, seclusion and restraint after a social media post depicted the use of a seclusion room in a negative light.

OCSD said that recent postings on social media indicate some “misunderstandings around ‘time out, seclusion, and restraint’ and how they all fit within the behavior supports in place in the Ottumwa Community School District. …

…  Teachers, who have received training in de-escalation strategies, also have designate time out areas in their classrooms where students can calm down and regroup.

“There is a small percentage of students who need support beyond that, and may require a more individualized behavior intervention plan, and in some cases may need seclusion. Seclusion is a procedure of placing students in a room to prevent out of control, dangerous students from harming themselves or others.

Mar 6, 2018, PBS: Opinion: To prevent school shootings, can mental health be taught?

If we have taken anything away from Parkland, it’s that we no longer have the luxury of delegating the care of our most marginalized students.

Mental health care access also matters. Governments should fund more robust school counseling programs so that students get care long before their feelings of despair and isolation metastasize into violence. But meeting that need will involve cumbersome debates, rebudgeting and hiring. All of that takes time.

Mar 6, 2018, News4, Jacksonville, FL: Duval County schools welcome state's focus on mental health

Improving mental health programs for teenagers is one aspect of Florida Senate Bill 7026, a sweeping, $500 million school safety bill that passed the state Senate on Monday and is now being debated in the House.

A Duval County School Board member and a Jacksonville psychologist welcome the additional focus on mental health in addition to the current emphasis on physical health.

The mental health components of the bill include:

$69 million for mental health assistance

$18.3 million for mobile crisis teams and 

$500,000 for mental health first aid training

Psychologist Dr. Justin D’Arienzo said most mental health issues -- like schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder -- begin to show up in teenage years.


Mar 6, 2018, (UK) BBC News: Duchess of Cambridge backs Oxford school's mental health work

The Duchess of Cambridge has visited a primary school to learn about work to support the emotional health of pupils. …

The school is part of a project with charity Family Links that works with schools in the UK on emotional health.

The subject is a particular interest for the duchess, who has called for action to address emotional issues in young people as early as possible.


Mar 6, 2018, WBTV—Charlotte, NC: SC Superintendent of Education pushes SROs and mental health support for safe schools

“We must be sure we have an officer, a trained and certified police officer, armed in every school,” Governor McMaster said.

In his 2018-2019 budget, the governor proposed a $5 million pilot program to fulfill that wish for 1-SRO in each school. His proposal also funds $250,000 for the Department of Mental Health’s school-based services. …

She says they’re also working on a virtual training program for teachers so that they know what signs to look for in a potentially troubled student. …

Clover schools and other districts across the state rely on the State Department of Mental Health for programs to assist students with mental illnesses. A Clover school district spokesperson says they are in talks with the Catawba Mental Health Facility to enhance the mental health support they already provide the school.

Mar 7, 2018, Spokane Spokesman-Review: Oregon students list mental health services in top concerns

Oregon high school students cited mental health services among their top policy concerns, according to a report compiled by a student-led organization.

Oregon Student Voice found that 40 percent of students listed mental health resources as the most important issue for schools, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Tuesday.

Mar 7, 2018, Loveland (CO) Reporter—Herald: Berthoud students march for mental health

About 50 Berthoud students left their classrooms and marched through town Wednesday morning in solidarity with the students killed in Parkland, Fla., and asked the school district to find the money for mental health counselors for the schools.

Several students stressed that the community and the school district need to talk about mental health issues and provide mental health treatment before more tragedies strike.

Mar 7, 2018, Salt Lake City Deseret News: Nearly half of children have damaging childhood experiences. Here's how to help your child

Nearly half of America's children live through adverse childhood experiences that can leave them vulnerable to ongoing and future challenges, sometimes severe, according to a new report that documents not just potential harm, but uneven impact based on race and state.

... The study finds a constellation of events that can add up to "toxic stress" and negatively influence both child development and future adulthood for 45 percent of America's kids.


"This is really a critical public health issue," said Vanessa Sacks, a research scientist who wrote the report with colleague David Murphey, a research fellow.

Mar 7, 2018, Panama City Beach, FL, NBC7: Bay District Schools leaders directing focus on mental health

Bill Husfelt, Superintendent of Bay District Schools, has said mental health is a priority for school officials and teachers.

He recommended increasing the number of mental health specialists for schools. …

If referred by a teacher or administrators, students have access to on- or off-site mental health services.

"We have some memorandums of understanding or contracts with some local agencies that provide some mental health services in the schools," Varnum explained. …

A local medical professional said she is seeing an increase in mental health incidents. Despite people believing it's simply because people are becoming more aware of mental health concerns, that is not the case.

She said it is a true increase.

Mar 7, 2018, Ridgefield (CT) Press: Special education: The cost increase that’s tough to cut

Rising relentlessly, special education costs aren’t easily held down — never mind cut — as more students qualify for placement meetings, spend their school days assisted by full-time paraprofessionals, are sent to costly out-of-district programs. Often, special education dollars go to address “social and emotional” difficulties — as opposed to learning disabilities or intellectual limitations.


“This is a huge problem. I don’t think you can throw enough money at it,” Selectman Bob Hebert said Monday, March 5. “What happened to the days when teachers were hired to teach and parents were expected to do the parenting?”


 “The mill rate would go up 4.29%,” Hebert said.


“We’re between a rock and a hard place,” said Selectwoman Barbara Manners….


Enrollment is anticipated to fall 74 students, from 4,912 this year to 4,838 in 2018-19.

Of the proposed $3,922,000 spending increase, $752,000 is for special education. …


“It’s driven by our need to meet the social and emotional needs of kids,” Baldwin told the selectmen.


Mar 7, 2018, Burlington, VT, CBS3:  Cabot 1 of 5 Vt. towns to reject school budgets

The mood was different in Cabot, though. Voters there rejected the proposed $3.67 million school budget by a 345-236 margin. The budget was up $337,000 from the current year but 40 percent of that came from mandated special education costs….

Mar 7, 2018, Keene (NH) Sentinel Source: Marlborough School District budget leads to discussion about special-education costs, state funding

Voters at the Marlborough School District’s annual meeting Tuesday night approved a $6.1 million budget anticipated to spike taxes by 20 percent.

The proposed budget passed by a narrow margin, 20-17, after a failed motion to trim about $65,000 and a fractious, hour-long debate centered around spending on special education.

The $282,291 budget increase is driven largely by rising special-education costs, according to budget numbers released by the school board.

At Tuesday’s meeting, in the Marlborough School gym, several residents questioned the large sums going to support a small number of special-education students. …

Mar 7, 2018, Terre Haute, IN, WTHI—TV: Sensory Room at Sullivan Elementary School

VIDEO: “A local school is seeing progress in students with learning and behavioral problems. …

“Students only spend a half hour in the sensory room and for many of them, it’s the best part of their day. …this room is a way to cope. …

“It’s a half hour escape at Sullivan Elementary School…”

“You walk in any classroom, and you see there that are some students that just kind of stick out.”

“It’s designed for students who struggle in the classroom …”

“Forty kids use this room every day, and that growing number, administrators say, is part of a new outlook on resources.”

“We cannot just limit ourselves to the traditional ways of discipline, the traditional ways of handling students that have maybe trouble focusing or behavior issues…. We all have to continue to really think outside the box.”

Mar 7, 2018, (UK) Spalding Today: Bourne special school set for growth under SEND plans

Willoughby backs changes to special education provision in Lincolnshire 0 HAVE YOUR SAY Bourne’s Willoughby School could see its pupil numbers grow by more than 50 per cent if plans to reform special needs education across Lincolnshire go ahead. James Husband, head teacher at Willoughby School which currently caters for children aged two to 19 with moderate to severe learning difficulties, has backed a new model for special education unveiled by Lincolnshire County Council.  …


Mr Husbands said: “I am delighted that Willoughby School is included as part of this SEND strategy as demand for special school places in Bourne and Lincolnshire is extremely high. …


Mar 8, 2018, New Haven (CT) Register: Derby’s schools chief proposes $18.9M budget; special ed drives costs

The proposal is $590,000, or 3.2 percent, higher than the current $18.4 million budget. Rising special education costs along with contractual obligations are the driving forces behind the increase, according to school Business Manager Mark Izzo.

The other major factor responsible for driving the proposed increase is special education costs, which school officials said continue to soar. The district recently had an additional special needs student move to Derby, who required placement outside the school system. Educating just one student outside of Derby’s school walls can cost $80,000 to $100,000 in tuition, Izzo noted.


Tuition, in total next year, for special education students placed outside of Derby schools, is proposed at $2.2 million, an increase of 15 percent.


“Sixty-seven percent of the increase is for special education costs. ... It drives the budget,” Izzo said.

Mar 8, 2018, (UK) Solihull Observer: Shirley school opens 'sensory room' to help pupils

CHILDREN at a Shirley school can now improve their learning experience by making use of a special ‘sensory room’.

Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic Primary School is one of the first in the borough to create a sensory ‘safe space’ for pupils.

The new room is designed to help children at the school, some with special educational needs such as autism, focus and relax during lessons.

Facilities such as these also serve an important role in combating mental health issues and can be used for counseling.  

Mar 8, 2018, Wichita, KS, KSN—TV:  Wichita Police Chief Ramsay visits Wichita schools to talk school safety

Every year, Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay visits schools to talk with students. Following the mass shooting in Florida, school safety was something the chief really wanted to stress. …

WPD has seven school resource officers, usually one in each high school, but Ramsay would like to have more….


Mar 8, 2018, Bloomington, IN, Indiana University: Partnership expands mental health resources for schools

Indiana University's Indiana School Mental Health Initiative has partnered with The Lutheran Foundation to provide online resources to support schools and community partners as they address students' social, emotional, behavioral and mental health needs. 

"The best place to proactively address the social, emotional and mental health of our children and youth is through our schools," said Christy Gauss, school mental health facilitator with the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative.


Mar 9, 2018, Chicago Tribune: In wake of Florida shooting, suburban counselors see increased need for mental health services at schools

For the many professionals who attended, coming from towns like Arlington Heights, Barrington, Lake Zurich, Libertyville and Mundelein, they increasingly find themselves on the forefront of adolescent mental health issues, which in recent weeks have meant dealing with a spate of violent threats posted by students on social media in the wake of the Florida shooting.

"The demand for mental health services at schools has increased dramatically," said Steve Hunter, Amita's director of professional education, pointing to an increase in medical referrals from area schools….

The behavioral health hospital's psychologists receive referrals for eight to 10 students a day in need of mental health services from officials at schools across Chicago and the suburbs, Hunter said.

In addition to mental health issues, ranging from anxiety, depression and drug addiction, Hunter said, officials are referring an increasing number of teens who are threatening violence to themselves and others. …

Mar 9, 2018, WI Public Radio: School Administrators Want Mental Health Programs To Be Focus Of School Safety

Two northwestern Wisconsin school district administrators say a multi-faceted approach is needed to address school safety in the Badger state and emphasis is needed on schools providing more mental health support for families.  … 

Superior School District Administrator Janna Stevens said from a physical security standpoint, her school has done as much as is reasonable to protect students from an intruder with a gun, but no plans are failsafe. …


Stevens said she believes Superior has a need for one full-time therapist at both the high school  and middle school levels and another full-time therapist that would be available at the district's six elementary schools.  

That's an expensive proposition, but one that could payoff in the long run. …

Mar 9, 2018, NBC6, Miramar, FL: Parkland Tragedy Puts Focus on Mental Health of Children

More parents are taking a look at the mental health of their own children after the mass shooting in Parkland last month but the search for the right doctor and diagnosis isn’t always easy.

"We are truly seeing a great number of these kids,” said Dr. Julia Harper, an occupational therapist and psychologist at TheraPeeds Family Center in Davie.

"I’ve seen a pattern, many of these mass shooters have histories of learning problems and emotional problems,” she said.

Mar 9, 2018, ABC13, Bowling Green, KY: Barren County hires mental health expert in wake of increased school shootings

The Barren County School District is hiring a mental health coordinator to help train staff on how to recognize issues before they escalate.


Mar 10, 2018, (UK) Leicester Mercury: Why pupils at Leicester primary school are doing yoga and meditation

Yoga, meditation and mindfulness are just some of the activities pupils at Eyres Monsell primary have been taking part in.

Activities aim to foster a sense of calm and self reflection, as well as making youngsters ready to learn.

Mar 10, 2018, Baltimore Sun: School counselors may be the best defense against school shootings

While gun control arguments and mental health reform often rise immediately to the surface, an often overlooked and underutilized resource can, if given the opportunity, make a significant difference. I’m referring to the highly skilled and well-trained professional school counselor.

Despite being much maligned in media portrayals (e.g., Mr. Mackey on “South Park”), most of today’s school counselors graduate from 60-credit-hour master’s level graduate programs that include coursework in identifying early signs of depression, social isolation, aggressive and anti-social behaviors, and all of the other pre-determinants that can lead to a school shooter mindset.

To add to this dilemma, the National Institute of Mental Health has recently reported that about 20 percent of our nation’s teen-agers either have or have had a seriously debilitating mental disorder.

Mar 10, 2018, Brookings (SD) Register: School board candidates quizzed

DeBates said there must be a focus on addressing mental health from an early age. This means working with counselors to help students with emotional and behavioral issues. She also suggested possibly forming partnerships with local entities, citing the example of the Rapid City School District, which has started working with a mental health system there. …

The school board has made school safety such a focus, Grimsley said, that they’ve made it one of the superintendent’s explicitly listed duties.

as many as 22 percent of Brookings High School ninth-graders have contemplated suicide at one point. 


Mar 10, 2018, Pendleton, OR, East Oregonian: Protecting one another—Students receive suicide prevention training, promote mental health

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Walsborn taught students a course in suicide prevention and mental health promotion, explaining that making time for your own mental and physical well-being is important in times of stress or trouble. During the class, she taught students to recognize risk factors and warning signs for someone who may be considering suicide, and ways they can reach out to a friend who might be struggling.

Hermiston High School counselor Melody Bustillos said the health curriculum has a unit on suicide and mental health, but they are trying to implement more discussions about the subjects into other aspects of school.

Bustillos said systems of reporting threats and mental health issues, such as Safe Oregon, have helped schools keep track of students who are struggling. The district is also trying to provide mental health and suicide prevention training for staff.


Mar 10, 2018, Martinsburg (WV) Journal: Mental health awareness effort hits area schools

Some are calling mental illness a silent epidemic — especially among children –and schools are working to spread awareness and help students.

Up to one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. So, in a classroom of 25 students, five of them may be struggling with the same issues many adults face, from depression to anxiety.

Whether treated or not, children still attend school. The struggles they face can be directly linked to major problems found in schools like chronic absence, low achievement, disruptive behavior and dropping out, experts said.

Mar 10, 2018, Rockford, IL, Rock River Times: Winnebago County leaders address trauma as root of community problems

Leaders in education, social services, and government in Winnebago County are trying to work together on a common thread they see running through their community’s biggest challenges – trauma ….

A program in the Harlem School District was held up as a good example: they’ve reduced discipline problems by seeking out the sources of trauma that lead to disruptive behavior in their students. They’ve accomplished this by training all staff in trauma informed care, including bus drivers and food service employees, who often see children first. They also have designated “comfort rooms” where students can go to calm down instead of acting out.



This is how much trouble we're in. I posted today Dr. Colbeck's speech before the Michigan legislature, not realizing that the speech took place today.

You can hear throughout his speech all kinds of chatter, so much that the person in charge had to stop Dr. Colbeck for a moment to ask that his fellow legislators pipe down.

His speech was impassioned and full of facts. He reminded his colleagues of their responsibility to first, protect the public and that the technology that the bill before them would enable would definitely harm the public, including fetuses and children.

Senator Colbeck was a designer of the International Space Station. He knows what he is talking about.

They didn't listen. Those stupid greedy bastards passed the bill anyway. This is why our children are so sick and it isn't going to get better unless people rise up and demand that Senator Colbeck's expertise and warning be heeded.


Re the effect of wireless on fetuses and children, please see this recent presentation by bonafide rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, Michigan Senator Patrick Colbeck on the floor of the Michigan legislature:



One more point -

While all these schools call more more funding for mental health services for, it is known that microwave radiation from cell phones and wi-fi has psychological effects. What they need to do is turn off the wi-fi and hard wire all the devices:


"Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Volume 75, Part B, September 2016, Pages 43-51

Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression

Author Martin L.Pall


•Microwave EMFs activate voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) concentrated in the brain.

•Animal studies show such low level MWV EMFs have diverse high impacts in the brain.

•VGCC activity causes widespread neuropsychiatric effects in humans (genetic studies).

•26 studies have EMFs assoc. with neuropsychiatric effects; 5 criteria show causality.

•MWV EMFs cause at least 13 neuropsychiatric effects including depression in humans.

Non-thermal microwave/lower frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) act via voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation. Calcium channel blockers block EMF effects and several types of additional evidence confirm this mechanism. Low intensity microwave EMFs have been proposed to produce neuropsychiatric effects, sometimes called microwave syndrome, and the focus of this review is whether these are indeed well documented and consistent with the known mechanism(s) of action of such EMFs. VGCCs occur in very high densities throughout the nervous system and have near universal roles in release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones. Soviet and Western literature shows that much of the impact of non-thermal microwave exposures in experimental animals occurs in the brain and peripheral nervous system, such that nervous system histology and function show diverse and substantial changes. These may be generated through roles of VGCC activation, producing excessive neurotransmitter/neuroendocrine release as well as oxidative/nitrosative stress and other responses. Excessive VGCC activity has been shown from genetic polymorphism studies to have roles in producing neuropsychiatric changes in humans. Two U.S. government reports from the 1970s to 1980s provide evidence for many neuropsychiatric effects of non-thermal microwave EMFs, based on occupational exposure studies. 18 more recent epidemiological studies, provide substantial evidence that microwave EMFs from cell/mobile phone base stations, excessive cell/mobile phone usage and from wireless smart meters can each produce similar patterns of neuropsychiatric effects, with several of these studies showing clear dose–response relationships. Lesser evidence from 6 additional studies suggests that short wave, radio station, occupational and digital TV antenna exposures may produce similar neuropsychiatric effects. Among the more commonly reported changes are sleep disturbance/insomnia, headache, depression/depressive symptoms, fatigue/tiredness, dysesthesia, concentration/attention dysfunction, memory changes, dizziness, irritability, loss of appetite/body weight, restlessness/anxiety, nausea, skin burning/tingling/dermographism and EEG changes. In summary, then, the mechanism of action of microwave EMFs, the role of the VGCCs in the brain, the impact of non-thermal EMFs on the brain, extensive epidemiological studies performed over the past 50 years, and five criteria testing for causality, all collectively show that various non-thermal microwave EMF exposures produce diverse neuropsychiatric effects."


The Original Someone #1,

I guess it sounded that way but I didn't mean to single out the autism community as being more unaware than the larger community. I am glad to hear that there are many who do know and are taking steps to protect their children. My concern is for the majority who have no idea that any of this is toxic and a major contributor to autism and other diseases. People who are desperate to help their children have no idea that wi-fi in the home, or cell phones, routers, wireless baby monitors, cordless land lines, smart utility meters, nearby cell towers, etc., are causing or exacerbating their child's condition.

It makes me crazy to read all these reports of children suffering in the schools, and clinics being opened, when the authorities are ignoring the obvious and no one is informing the parents. You know, at home, it's bad enough for a child to use a wi-fi connected laptop or tablet. But in school, that child can be sitting in a room of 30 children, each with their own wi-fi connected device emitting radiation that affects all the children within a certain radius, so compared to home use, the radiation is greatly magnified by all those devices and has to be ridiculously high. Also, the routers are stronger than in the home. Schools and public health authorities are negligent in their duty to provide a safe environment. I hope that this becomes common knowledge. It certainly isn't now. Schools across the country are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year renting out schoolyard space to Telecom for cell towers. There are schools that have towers literally hovering directly over and irradiating the children every school day.

Thanks for chiming in. I hope that people look into this so they know what they need to do.

Aimee Doyle

@Linda1 - thanks so much for the information. I have a much better understanding. I've been concerned about this issue for a while, as I'm concerned about GMOs, and of course, vaccines and autism. I do worry about the power that major industries (Pharma, Telecom, Big Ag, etc.) have to influence government policy.

Congress is supposed to be a check on industry and government. Could the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (chaired by Republicans and majority Republican) hold hearings on this? If not, why not? I realize they haven't done anything on the vaccine-autism issue, but perhaps Telecom (unlike Pharma) hasn't fully bought out Congress yet.

And it seems like the media has been ignoring this wireless issue as well. Is that true of the mainstream conservative and liberal media? What are your thoughts? I know I haven't seen anything, and I look at a variety of media.

I'd like to figure out how to get this out there into the public awareness. Our elected representatives are supposed to represent us. They could hold hearings.

I do understand your frustration. Hard to know what to do.

The Original Someone #1

@Linda1 - More people than you know are involved in the movement to remove or reduce Wi-Fi in the schools and elsewhere. That said, there are only so many high profile "fights" and hours of time a parent can take on, especially if they have one or more special needs children, which comes with its own set of built in "fights" to seek appropriate special ed services for them. The problem, Linda1, is not with our community, but with the community of parents with "typical" children who not only fail to comprehend the dangers of unlimited vaccination, but who also fail to understand there is any danger at all from Wi-Fi/wireless radiation. Your disappointment needs to be more widely dispersed, in my humble opinion. I can't even get the parents of typical children to understand the dangers of having their children play sports on carcinogenic artificial turf fields. There is a huge disconnect and lack of concern in every direction, and every industry you can name is loving (and profiting handsomely from) every single minute of the public's disengagement and disinterest.


I have to correct one thing I said. I said that they are doing it "all for money".
It is very hard to accept that 5G is also a weapons system. It can be used to control behavior and dissent. Here is a US military youtube bragging about how it will be used against civilians. This will be on every American street by 2020:



Thank you for asking questions. I didn't mean to be insulting. I am frustrated. The blind spots exist because we are being distracted and deceived. We are told that this technology is safe and it isn't. Where other countries require warning labels and have educational campaigns to teach safe and cautious use, our people are led to believe that there is absolutely no risk to EMF or wireless. While abundant research going back many decades shows all kinds of harm. The Chinese have required that pregnant women wear radiation protective clothing throughout pregnancy since the 1990s!

The FCC sets the standard for wireless radiation. The standard is outdated and not protective. It was last updated in I think 1996. It is based on heating. The presumption is that if the technology doesn't heat the tissue, that it can't hurt it. LOTS of science since 1996 shows that there are many other effects outside of heating, but the FCC and the industry that it is supposed to be regulating, Telecom, is ignoring that body of research. Our government and Telecom are rolling out more and more wireless without having any shred of evidence that any of it is safe for humans or the environment. All for money. In addition to what it is doing to our children, we have lost a significant percentage of bird, bee and other insect life.

Our gov't is now rolling out the next generation of wireless, 5G, and scientists are screaming for them to stop. Will require cell towers 100 - 200 meters apart across the country, including in front of homes. 5G is the infrastructure for their planned "Internet of Things" that will wirelessly connect everything. Here is the former FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler (former wireless industry lobbyist) announcing the approval of 5G: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMxfffqyDtc

Bottom line is, what we are seeing in the schools is not just from vaccines. WE ARE MICROWAVING OUR CHILDREN AROUND THE CLOCK. It is insane.

("They" are our federal government, and the Telecom industry. Both guilty as sin.)

To learn more:

Dr. Herbert on autism and wireless: https://ehtrust.org/key-issues/cell-phoneswireless/autism-adhd-wireless-electromagnetic-fields/


I have to add to what I said about much of it being in our control. I mean within the home there are many things we can do to provide a clean EMF and wireless free environment. But I have to say even that is being threatened by radiation emitting "smart"utility meters and 5G wireless infrastructure being put up across the country. We are being blanketed with radiation. What we're seeing in the schools is a result of many toxins, the radiation being one of the strongest and most pervasive. People have to wake up, educate themselves and stand up to stop the poisoning.


Yes, not meaning to say that vaccines do not directly cause autism. Wireless radiation and EMF is another cause or contributor and will exacerbate cases caused by vaccines. The effects are known and it is frankly maddening to me to see people acknowledging the effects without acknowledging the cause because we can stop it. Much of it is within our control. As for the schools, if enough people put their foot down, at least that aspect of the mass poisoning would end.

for Bob

Your congressional recruitment testimony is not surprising. How is it that persons that are concerned about global warming are never mocked ('are you warm-phobic?'or charged
with fear mongering? Yet another person concerned with high rises in autism and gender dysphoria (both of which are happening at a rate that indicates they are environmentally caused and will have serious implications for the future of our species) are mocked, bullied, labelled ('you must be transphobic,' you must be abusive and antiscience' by the neuridiverse crowd. The hypocracy on the difference of treatment on these different issues is astounding.


What a list, horrifying ,shocking ,and chilling right down to the bare bone itself .
Working in Dachau General Hospital in the early 1980's . We wondered ,us three friends ,trained at the Western Infirmary and Gartnavel Hospitals Glasgow . How did people not want to know or ask about the correction halls [concentration camp] Station Sister /Charge Nurse Gretel and Sub Station /Charge Nurse Gudran taught us all about it . Fab nurses the pair of them explained that people were too frightened to ask about anything ,it was follow your guidelines and criteria without question "OR ELSE" I looked after a senior SS Officer in Dachau "The real deal ,the whole kit and kaboodle " Very cultured family ,but just an ordinary family with "A story"of no choice, powerless silent guilt of follow your guidelines or else ! lead to raw schnapps with breakfast ,lunch and dinner leading to oesophageal varices , a horrible end of life situation for anyone good ,bad or indifferent .
And as we were doing second qualification training at Lennox Castle Hospital Glasgow .I can say ,how did this happen ,and we did'nt know anything about it . The 50 bed wards were hidden behind well looked after sprawling estate grounds and with manicured rose gardens .
See Disabled primary school-age children given "grotesque "drug tests /UK https/www.express.co.uk 20 march 2016
PrayBig.Pray Hard ,Pray Often ,for an end of it "No more Toxic Saturation for Ordinary People "

cherry Misra

Truthseeker00, This is what I watch for (I live in India) : the two or three year old child being carried by the parent or a nanny(A normal child of that age squirms out of the parents arms to get down and walk or run) The child has pale skin as compared to parents and may have a direct gaze but usually there are no changes in expression and the child is not making verbal comments to the adult.
Where today are the little toddlers pulling a tiny wagon or trying to ride a tricycle.? Rarely seen where I live in New Delhi. In fact if I saw a child doing that, I would probably stop to compliment the parents on how well the child is doing. I guess I should add that many of our Indian kids are still given many mercury containing vaccines (This depends on what the doctor prefers to use- in most cases)

Joseph Conrad

Great article! Our schools have become clinics and teachers are now forced to be clinicians, not educators.

With increasing disease burden in addition to economic trends, I’m not sure my generation will be able to keep our society going.


Earlier today I was remembering how when I was a teenager there used to be News stories about kids who were super geniuses, starting University at 10, kids who were prodigies at 3 years old, and I was wondering if these kinds of children still exist ?
I never see News stories about them anymore. These days if a child can even talk the parents breath a sigh of relief.
I once read that the brightest babies are most susceptible to vaccine injury because they have more microglia in their brain. I wonder if a lot of the would be super geniuses have been silenced.

Tim Lundeen

@aimee It's not just WiFi, there are electrical fields emitted from house wiring, cell phones, and other wireless devices.

There is an excellent site re EMF dangers at http://www.saferemr.com/ -- published by a PhD Prof at UC Berkeley. Highly credible.

Also see http://www.clearlightventures.com/blog/2015/9/11/the-emerging-link-between-wireless-and-autism -- they have worked with non-verbal autistic kids who recover language when their EMF exposure is reduced during the night.

susan welch

Linda1. Sorry, I didn't mean to write Linda with an exclamation mark.

Anne, Thank you again for this amazing research.

susan welch

Linda!. Whilst I am sure you are right about the dangers of Wi fi, I can only speak for my situation when I say that it was definitely not the cause of my grandsons' autism. They were born in the 1990s before mobile phones were in general use. They did, however, stop speaking and regress after vaccination.

Hence my concentration on vaccines, rather than wireless. The combination of both is, I am sure, even more lethal.

Aimee Doyle

@Linda1 - "The perpetrators, the government and industry responsible for the exposure know full well what they're doing to children. Just as they knew 40 years before the toxicity of tobacco was publicly acknowledged, while they subsidized tobacco and the poisoning of our population with it, they know that cell towers and wireless is hazardous to all biology."

This is really interesting - I haven't read much on this issue. Certainly everyone has blind spots - and denial arises from those blind spots - the left, the right, the autism community, the neurodiverse community. Overall, in the case of wireless radiation, there seems to be even less awareness/concern than there is about vaccines (last I read, one in four parents have concerns about vaccines - don't remember the site). I'm curious about wireless radiation, and I have a couple of questions.

1) Have you gotten a sense of where the media and Congress are on this issue? Or are they bought out/bought off as they are by Pharma regarding the vaccine issue?

2) When you talk about "they" are you talking about the cellphone industry? Or is it a larger industry? Or multiple industries? With the government, is it a lack of regulation? Who would regulate wireless radiation?

I always like to know who "they" are. Makes it easier to research, and makes it easier to formulate a plan of action.


A Father Speaks About Wifi in Schools and His Children's Health

Please take the time to watch this.



Shelley Tzorfas

Schools today have time for Medications,Special Education, Vaccinations, Consternation, Seclusion, castigation, and investigation, but little time for Reading, Writing, or Arithmetic.


Dan and Mark wrote a book about Denial. Somehow, inexplicably, our side is guilty of that too. I will keep pointing out until someone gets it, that all these children are being exposed to massive body and brain altering amounts of radiation, around the clock. Radiation that increases the toxicity of other exposures, including vaccines.

The perpetrators, the government and industry responsible for the exposure know full well what they're doing to children. Just as they knew 40 years before the toxicity of tobacco was publicly acknowledged, while they subsidized tobacco and the poisoning of our population with it, they know that cell towers and wireless is hazardous to all biology. There are some 6000 studies to prove it.

All these schools are full of electrosmog.

When will the autism community's Denial end?


Of course one would never guess that all of these children with 'mental health' problems really just need some nice, 'safe' pharma drug to restore them to a tranquil, empty existence.

The fact is, one can see the physical signs of autism in today's children. The distant, unfocused eyes, the slightly slurred speech, the oddly spread fingers and the unusually shapeless legs and arms. When I look closely at children who appear somewhat autistic, these signs are nearly always present. Children do not even look 'normal' anymore. It is not the result of parental abuse or dysfunctional homes.

Gary Ogden

Calling what these children have suffered "trauma" is a rare instance of truth-telling. The source of that trauma, though, is forbidden utterance in the public space. I recently read a short piece about U.S. Army training. Recruits no longer have the strength to throw a hand grenade, so they've eliminated it as a basic training skill (I'm not in favor of hand grenades, but am in favor of normal strength in young adults and everyone else). God help us, Anne, the slimeballs: pharma, and their sales force-the U.S. government-are destroying the nation. Thanks for keeping us abreast of media reporting of the results of this vast medical experiment inflicted upon our most vulnerable. Thanks to the internet for keeping us abreast of the cause. The lowest rung of Hell for the knowing participants in this genocidal campaign.

The Original Someone #1

Looks like the medical establishment wants to re-categorize autism as a mental illness due to childhood trauma and bad parenting in order to open the door to mandatory psychiatric treatment with SSRIs and medical kidnapping. They are now resorting to the creation of completely false narratives, in the hope of removing even more parental and medical freedom rights. We have to see this for what it is -- a very personal attack on all of us as parents of special needs children. This is their plan to silence us, and it is much worse than the prior "refrigerator mom" claims. They are now falsely claiming that we are intentionally and maliciously emotionally harming and traumatizing our children, thus rendering them autistic. Their solution is to bring mental health professionals into the schools in the place of special ed teachers? That's outrageous.

bob moffit

"There are now so many children in our schools who simply can’t function like kids have always been expected to function ... Autism has to take a backseat to the big percentages of kids who need special help ... We’re told in news stories that research shows one in 5 or even one in 4 students has a mental health problem ...

How is that possible? Is the same true for adults? Does the one in 4/one in 5 rate apply to teachers, doctors, police officers? It’s an incredibly scary world out there."

Recently heard disturbing Congressional testimony regarding the difficulties in "recruiting" qualified personnel to join our military forces. I am paraphrasing here but I think the Marine General testifying said they must interview thousands of potential candidates to find a few hundred that meets the physical and mental standards required of the Marines.

That should surprise no one .. as our community has been warning .. for DECADES now .. of that "incredibly scary world" .. where so many of this generation will not be physically or mentally healthy to meet normal professional standards .. such as .. "teachers, doctors and police officers".

We are witnessing the end results of a catastrophic assault on the health of our most precious national resource .. OUR CHILDREN.


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