Unfortunately, there’s yet another trend popping up at School Board meetings all over the country and it’s from the same group of parents protesting critical race theory, which ironically doesn’t even exist in public school curriculum. Some parents are now protesting suicide prevention and are targeting district programs that provide resources about suicide prevention.
Parents are arguing that their children do not need suicide prevention and that teachers and counselors need to stick to providing academic support. Arguing that counselors should focus only on getting students into college because that’s what students need, parents have addressed boards urging them to stop suicide prevention programs, as well as other critical mental health resources.
Here’s the problem. So many of these parents don’t understand and don’t know what their children go through at school. In many cases, the same parents that are vocal about ending suicide prevention programs have children who are undiagnosed and in crisis. Many times parents don’t find out until after their child commits suicide or harms themselves that their child was suffering from depression, anxiety, or other emotional or mental health issues.
Parents that turn a blind eye to the mental health needs of their children are showing up at school board meetings to say that they don’t want the issue of mental health addressed in our public schools. The reality is, many students only have knowledge of what depression and anxiety looks like based on what they’ve learned in school because we haven’t been socialized to openly talk about mental health.
There are parents complaining about their children being “brainwashed” into believing they have mental health problems. These are the same parents who don’t believe or know that their child is being bullied and refuse to acknowledge that these things happen in schools daily. We have kids who are struggling with gender identity and their parents don’t even realize what’s happening at home with their own children. We cannot ignore these realities.
In California, Assemblymember James Ramos of San Bernardino county recently passed legislation to promote emotional health and well-being in schools across the state by providing mandatory suicide prevention programs and resources for all students. Here at La Comadre, we have shared many instances of student suicide over the last few years and we know it’s important and critical to give children a safe space at school. We support resources, programs, and policies that consider the mental health and emotional well-being of students.
It’s mind-boggling to know that there’s a group of people out there who refuse to acknowledge these things. Even if your own children don’t need help, it’s selfish to advocate for denying access to mental health resources that other students might need.
Comadres, how do you feel about this?
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