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Mental health isn’t a political issue in schools

| October 20, 2021 6:55 AM

Being a kid is tough. Being a kid in school in the middle of a pandemic is tougher.

Every generation the challenges of children change. Access to information 24/7, social media, video games, the list goes on. It is clear kids are navigating a landscape we parents did not have experience with growing up. As a parent of children in School District 6, I was disheartened to read the article in the Hungry Horse News about school board member Wayne Jacobsmeyer and several parents who voiced their opposition of a half-hour junior high class on social and emotional learning that is taught once a week. They claimed the material was too “progressive” and counseling should be left at home.

I argue that this subject should take more space in our public schools. I also found the juxtaposition of the full page print ad on helping teens through the recent suicide epidemic haunting.

On one page we have an elected school board member saying the school should not be offering guidance and education for community youth and literally on the other page emergency phone numbers to call when a teen is in crisis.

Mental Health is NOT a political issue and I resent Mr. Jacobsmeyer making it one. I hope everyone who votes in the school board election is paying attention. The dictionary defines “progressive” as “making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities.”

My respect and support goes to all the District 6 staff and board members who are working hard to learn new ways to reach our children and support them through new and strange times. Who knows, maybe our children can teach us a thing or two about empathy, respect and tolerance. Someone smarter than me once said. “If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.”

Let’s keep school relevant to our children.

Rebecca Powell

Columbia Falls