July, 21 2017

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Help for troubled teens

One of many ways to cut down on school shootings is to provide help for troubled teens before they resort to violence. The teens are stressful years, both inside and outside the classroom, and establishing mental health clinics in teen centers across the state, as a bill before the Legislature proposes, would give teens somewhere to go to discuss their problems and get help in dealing with them. This bill is largely the product of a youth initiative, and many teens went to Beacon Hill on Monday to talk about how youth workers and mental health clinics had benefited them. Funding for the program is likely to be the key issue at a time when the state doesn't have much budget flexibility, but we hope the legislative Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse will balance that reality with the program's many strengths in making its recommendation to the full House and Senate.
Education will be an election issue

Whatever the explanation is for the substantial number of candidates (14 as of yesterday) bidding for seats on the Pittsfield School Committee, the turnout assures the city will, for a change, get a thorough discussion of educational issues this fall. School Committee members have essentially done little more than sign up for another two-year term in recent election seasons, leaving the mayoral and City Council races to dominate the political discourse. Happily, not this year. While the state Department of Education controls many school-related matters, school committees maintain considerable authority. Among the many subjects that should emerge in this fall's Pittsfield campaign are the hiring process for a school superintendent, a possible merger of high schools, the status of the laptop initiative, low MCAS scores in some grades, and a longer school day.

Commentary:

Though interesting, it still remains unclear what a lot of these initiative will really entail. The proposal has also been made to look into regulation of schools for troubled teens. It will also be interesting as public opinion of some of these initiatives unfolds. While test scores are a serious problem, the solution should be looked at from many different angles. Lengthening the school day could possibly have a negative affect on both teachers and students. It has also been suggested that more parenting forums are opened to help curb the number of troubled teens in the community. It is believed that if we as a society can place more importance on the family unit that some of these issues will take care of themselves.

Related Articles:
America's Promise to Help At-Risk Youth Nationwide 5/8/07
Neighborhood against school for troubled teens 5/14/07
Cooper Plans Center for Troubled Teens 5/7/07
Leaders Join Forces for New York City's Homeless and At-Risk Youth 5/4/07
Troubled teens turn to ... quilting 5/3/07
Brat Camp: What Happened Next 7/4/07
An alternative for troubled teens 5/2/07
Youth is sentenced in killing of counselor 5/2/07
Boys' Haven to host crawfish festival 5/2/07
School for Troubled Teens 5/14/07


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