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CT Proposal Gets Serious About Mental Health Policies Post-Sandy Hook

CT Proposal Gets Serious About Mental Health Policies Post-Sandy Hook

Newtown Superintendent Joseph Erardi was faced with the difficult task of overseeing a group of education leaders and mental health experts who studied the Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza and offered a 100-page report on what could be changed to avoid future unspeakable tragedy.

The report comes after "the blessing of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents [allowed] Erardi [to convene] 14 veteran educators and mental health experts to devise best practices to prevent troubled students such as Lanza from falling through the cracks,” The Connecticut Post says.

The resulting proposal focuses on identifying students’ mental health needs by getting serious about early identification and creating comprehensive student profiles from all areas of the youth’s life.”

By making mental health services a priority, schools would collaborate with churches and community organizations and would focus on building both out-of-school services and in-school services, says the CT Post.

"Under the proposal, a school social worker would communicate with everyone else in a child’s life, from the soccer coach and the pediatrician to the youth minister, to develop a complete picture of the student’s needs,” the article said.

For homeschooled students like Lanza, they must under-go a comprehensive mental health examination before being allowed to stay home.

The proposal is one of the most aggressive and in-depth proposals to-date when it comes to providing mental health support to students.

Education experts, said the CT Post, are worried that the proposal may infringe on civil rights in its attempt to provide better school safety.

It further opens up the debate on what exact responsibility schools have in providing mental health support and services to its students (See the lawsuit against Compton Unified School District).

Read the full story. 

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/25/2016

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