Regarding The Post’s coverage on mental health and the issue of screening public school students, I have been a special education teacher since 1977. I have seen an increase in anger issues, severe behavior problems and stress-related personal problems in children of all ages. I don’t think that children have changed all that much, but the stress that they are under has gotten worse.
As for teachers being asked to identify and handle mental health problems of children, this is a dangerous and unreasonable request. Not only are educators not trained in advanced psychology and crisis intervention, educating and getting to familiarize themselves with 135-plus students every day is a task in itself. Many times I have reported behaviors that I considered inappropriate or dangerous, only to be told, “He is your problem from 7 until 3, so don’t call me at work.” Training to identify and treat these children takes many years of post-graduate research, and would require personnel numbers that would be financially impossible to fund, either federally or locally.
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