Having several mental conditions [ADD, OCD, MDD, and Asperger's Syndrome], 'normal' school life is nearly impossible for me. Now I don't agree with schools getting a cash 'prize' [in my opinion] because they teach students with disorders, but at the same time they should get a certain fund for use of hiring specialized teachers and equipment. Before I left my public school, my grades were straight F's, not because I wasn't intelligent, but because when I had trouble I would be ridiculed and bullied by the students and the teachers would say I'm bluffing. Now in my wonderful charter school, I have fellow classmates with the same problems I had, teachers who understand, and a much easier school life. Public schools should attempt to follow the lead of charter schools, if possible. This is simply my opinion.
As the parent of two children with depression, I definitely agree. Nothing was ever done by the schools for my children with depression, even though one child had been diagnosed for 3 years and cutting herself in class. Both girls were exhibiting signs of emotional disorders (frustration, anxiety, and more). Both children were in need of medication, but we had no insurance to get the medication at that time. I spoke with the school, DHS, the US Dept of HHS, but still, nothing was done. My kids, technically, were accidents waiting to happen. I resolved the issue of not getting the proper care/treatment by moving to another state and enrolling one child in a different school with more caring officials and the other a homeschool. They're both getting the treatment they need now and can tolerate the environment of public school and other people. Had there been better policies in the areas of education and health care as they pertained to students with mental health disorders, my children would've been treated sooner. Who's to say a violent incident would not have happened if I had not removed them from the school and that state?
As a teacher I feel I am qualified to answer this question professionally. I am not a mental-health expert and make no such claims to the contrary, but nor does someone need a degree to recognize certain traits that could lead to severe mental health concerns. In my opinion, these individuals are not completely having their needs met. Those in need of counseling do not always get said counseling. Many who need to be outplaced for their own safety and the safety of others are still where they do not belong. Things need to be safer for all, with more mental health experts on staff for a growing climate of emotional and mental health needs.
Schools have limited policies on mental health issues with students; they simply cannot afford to support them. There are tests available, home visits, diagnoses made, yet it seems the buck stops there. We have very few programs for special needs children, the ones that exist lack funding, and special education teachers. Without separate schools or at the very least, special classrooms, I believe the challenged students are in a bullying category of their own. The sheer amount of children being bullied for nothing at schools has such an impact, throwing kids with any handicap into regular classrooms puts a target on their backs. This situation needs immediate attention, and each student has the right to a decent education as a citizen of the United States. Any child who lives with special needs does not necessarily fall into that classification. Their right is taken away when school budget cuts take place and there is no money left to address the issues of mental health.
Schools should have all the programs and policies they need to support every child who walks through their doors. Students who have mental health disorders deserve to be offered the same level of safety and education as any other child out there. We should be providing them with appropriate programs to help them to learn and overcome their disabilities.
Our children spend a majority of their time at school. We need to have better policies and programs to help the students who need it. This will keep other children safer and will create an atmosphere where children with mental disorders feel comfortable and can, themselves, succeed. We need to be looking out for all our children.
Every time we set up the schools to handle something other than education we weaken our system. If a child is diagnosed with issues that will adversely effect other students they need to be removed from the system. It is the parents responsibility to help the child, not society. As soon as parents can have children that need special help and then hand them off to the rest of us as a whole, the parents abdicate their duties as parents. This is always wrong and clearly will always fail.