When Will It Be True?

Students’ Despair and Outcry for Meaningful Change!

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Source

Target Audience

  • School Community
  • Parents
  • Students
  • Administrators
  • Teachers
  • Youth

Category

  • Student Well Being
  • High School
  • Parenting
  • Education
  • Leadership
  • Title IX
  • Title V
  • Title I

Students’ Despair, Outcry, and Plea for Meaningful WellnessPrograms!

 At CCA, Canyon Crest Academy, we’ve had two tragic suicides and an attempted suicide since September. Two of these incidents occurred in the last seven days.  My heart bleeds with pain. The agony for any parent to endure the loss of a child, especially to suicide, is unimaginable. The despair of the community during this painful time combines hopelessness, outrage, and anger.

Parents and students rightfully wonder when are we going to have REAL commitment to student wellness?

In our district, the 2017 Healthy Kids report states:

  • 13% of students think of attempted suicide
  • 27% of students feel chronic sadness/hopelessness
  • 77% of students feel no one cares about them

I am outraged at the lack of REAL commitment to reduce these horrifying statistics and heartbreaking outcomes.

I would like to share with you a social media post from a district student I read at last night’s School Board meeting regarding the CCA suicides:

“We can’t keep brushing over this shit. it’s not ok.

If something bad happens at school,

We should be able to talk about it,

We should be heard and supported.

Why do we have to find things out through misinformed text messages and posts?

Why are we still taking tests,

Why are we still at school after such bad things happen ON CAMPUS?

We say mental health is a priority…We’re a supportive school…

but where is this true?

When can we know that the administration has our backs,

that they really care for us and

They are willing to sacrifice our placement in education,

our ‘high standards’ for true wellness?

When will teachers actually implement the wellness programs?

When will mental health be put first and foremost?

And not just on paper and in reputation;

When will it be true?”

Her sentiments are not unique. Sadly, on my campaign trail, I collected similar stories of desperation, despair, and outcry.

Students say school is like a prison. They say they are silenced. They feel that no one cares about them. Some even shared they feel enslaved and it is like a labor camp.

As many of you know I am Lea Wolf and I am running for the school board in our district.  Few weeks ago, at the Torrey Pines High School candidate debate, a question about students’ wellness was asked. A member of the district stood to defend and praise the wellness programs instituted this year.

I responded that I am aware of these programs: many students have told me they are a “waste of time” and nowhere near effective.

I gave an example: A “Resilience Lesson” administered, where the teacher introduced the topic and asked the students to repeat “I’m resilient!” ten times. And a similar “lesson” was administered about “Grit” with the teacher telling students to say, “I have Grit” ten times.

One of teachers was so embarrassed with the “lesson,” he refused to read it, and said “it’s ridiculous!”

So, it looks like business as usual at SDUHSD. We are failing our students and not making REAL commitment to their wellness.

I ask again and echo the words of this young courageous student’s post,

“When will it REALLY be true?”

It will be true when our leadership make REAL commitment to students’ wellness.

  • It will be true when leadership understand the root of the issues from students’ perspectives. Students are central to the solution; yet school leadership is not talking to them.
  • It will be true when leadership hires highly competent professionals to facilitate these lessons.
  • It will be true when students are engaged in discussion about the meaning and importance of “resilience.”   How are their personal situations “test” resilience?  What are the practical actions needed to become resilient?    
  • It will be true when outcomes measured objectively by students.

Our students deserve respect, compassion, and love.

It is imperative to shift the culture and replace empty words with effective action plan and measurable outcomes.