We need to spend more time and energy on mental health for our students.  This could start in schools with therapists and psychiatrists visiting classrooms and talking about mental health.  While at the school, they should be checking with teachers and administrators about students who are suffering from mental health issues.  Counselors and psychiatrists would visit with these students and contact the parents with a referral if need be. 

In addition, we need comprehensive anti-bullying policies in schools. We need real ways of reporting it in all its many forms: physical, social, emotional, psychological, Internet and sexual harassment.

There are three groups involved in bullying: the bullies, the bystanders, and the victims. Each one of the three groups need to be counseled and taught skills to deal with their problems.

When there is a bullying incident, volunteers with armbands that say “peace” immediately take out their phones and videotape it and call the universal number that alerts all of the faculty and staff to immediately come to that spot and stop the bullying process. A bully is immediately given a week suspension. The student who committed the bullying is invited to the office with his parents to apologize to the person they bullied. Then they would be transferred to another school with a direct recommendation of receiving counseling. The victim needs to be counseled and taught self-defense techniques to handle all of the different types of bullying. 

 

Jerald Haley

Stillwater

 

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