Tasers and School Children

May 18, 2005 in Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy

default-header Today’s Star Tribune article on St. Paul schools new policy on Taser use, (B2, James Walsh, St. Paul schools OK policy on Taser use, May 18, 2005) draws attention to the growing violence in our public schools. Teaching can be a dangerous profession for educators faced with unmanageable children or chaotic classroom environments.

Prozac, Ritalin, and a host of other psychotropic medications have taken the place of mental health counseling for children as young as six and seven years old. Behavior modification is now often a function of “if they took their meds.” Read the rest of this entry →

Unhappy Schools

May 12, 2005 in Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy

coneflowersA snapshot of our schools and community: 28% of the class at Minneapolis Roosevelt High school graduated last year. The Minneapolis school system had an overall 53% graduation rate.  Blaming teachers for failing schools is wrong. Teachers teach because they love learning and children. It is a political vote getter to blame educators for our larger institutional failures. The system needs to make learning possible. Politicians are missing the core issues.  Read the rest of this entry →

What we do to our children

May 3, 2005 in Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy

mn panorama leaves turned 2“What we do to our children they will do to society”   Pliny the Elder    I met with State Senator Mee Moua recently. I am a guardian ad-Litem concerned with the twice-abused children I know through County Child Protection.  Senator Moua is the first State legislator to speak to me with a genuine interest in creating a public dialogue around Children’s mental health issues after many tries.

We agree that a significant part of the problem with failing schools is the big numbers of traumatized children being warehoused in classrooms.
Teachers are in the terrible position of being responsible for educating students and managing traumatized children at the same time.

Because it is a complicated issue with no simple answers, legislators avoid the topic and don’t provide useful solutions. Read the rest of this entry →

talk of suicide

March 31, 2005 in Kids At Risk Action (KARA)

remarkable chinese iconJeff Weise resembles many of the children in Child Protection I know.  A mother that hated him, Psychotropic medications, repeated examples of self-loathing, talk of suicide and homicide.  Working with neglected and abused children has shown me a part of human development that I could not have otherwise become familiar with.

Normal children overcome feelings of self-hate and inadequacy with the help of parents, teachers, and other adults in their lives.  Abused children can’t trust the adults in their lives. Their own abuse has come from the trusted adults in their lives. These children often resent or hate authority figures as a result of the suffering adults have visited upon them. Read the rest of this entry →