In “olden times” if a kid misbehaved in school he/she was sent to the Principal’s office, made to stand in a corner, or maybe had to write a sentence on the blackboard 100 times. If it was bad enough, he/she received a paddling. Sometimes the punishment received at home was worse. We don’t discipline that way anymore.
In our modern times, if a kid “acts out” in school he/she is scheduled for an appointment with a behaviorist, therapist, counselor, or a social worker. If deemed necessary by these mental health professionals, your child will be referred to a psychiatrist or a psychologist. It was reported recently in the Courier-Journal if a parent in Louisville’s JCPS system refuses the suggestion of this referral, many are threatened with a report to Child Protective Services, resulting in possibly losing custody of the child.
NAFCS has reported that out of our 11,600 students there are over 700 kids, with a long waiting list, now being seen by the 22 mental health professionals currently employed by NAFCS. That’s almost one out of 10 (10 percent) of our school children that have been screened by these professional mental health employees. With this School Safety Referendum, the reported plan is to increase the current 22 mental health professionals to 43. Are we looking at possibly 3,000 (over 30 percent) of students being referred for therapy?
It’s often the case in today’s work environment that the more employees a person has under his/her supervision, the more certainty of their job security. Put that scenario in our school system and the more kids are referred for therapy, the more secure will be the positions of behaviorists, therapists, counselors and social workers. What would be the difference in these four job descriptions? How is it determined which one should interview a child with a perceived problem?
The News and Tribune has given its readers some good letters, both pro and con, for the School Safety Referendum seen on the June 2nd Primary ballot. It is appropriate to examine the motivation for some of these letters. One of them in the May 6th newspaper is by Nicole Warren who listed herself as a proud parent and NAFCS employee. If you look at the NAFCS link, https://www.nafcs.k12.in.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Warren-Nicole-2018-2019.pdf you’ll see that Ms. Warren is listed as an Admin. Intern at Grant Line Elementary. And according to her teacher’s contract her salary is almost $68,000 of taxpayers’ money per year. That’s almost twice the average income of county residents (according to Census and Snapshot). So, she has a financial bias, and the more our school system grows, the better will be her job security. Another example, George Shultz has letters on Feb. 18th and again on May 8th. With this referendum, NAFCS plans to create an “office of school safety” with 2-3 employees. Does Mr. Shultz present his background to suggest he would be a good candidate for the position of “Head of Security”? Again, “motivation.”
I don’t want my tax dollars spent to eventually turn our school system into what may resemble child psychiatric facilities. Sound far-fetched or facetious? You may think again when it’s your child under scrutiny.
I will be voting NO on the School Safety Referendum on the June 2 Primary ballot.
Carol Lamb, Floyds Knobs