Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D
In a previous article, I expressed my opinion that local Boards of Education should not accept federal funds (your tax dollars) to establish mental health treatment clinics in our public schools for a variety of reasons. In this article, I am going to address what today’s public schools are doing that are detrimental to the mental health of their students.
Sound mental health is based on two things: self-confidence and self esteem; and avoiding negative, demoralizing influences. Here are some things schools can do to enhance the mental health of students: First, help students be successful and develop a positive outlook for their futures. This can only be done by successfully mastering traditional academic knowledge and skills. Self- esteem is only real when it is based on demonstrated actual achievement. Second, teach children to believe in the American Dream, where they can achieve any reasonable goal through hard work and self-discipline. America is still the land of opportunity. Third, stop teaching subjects that are contrary to good mental health. Examples are (a) Critical Race Theory, where inherent unchangeable racial bias will block a person’s ability to reach one’s goals. Where skin color is more important than the content of one’s character. (b) Transgender indoctrination, that instead of teaching that one’s gender at birth should be celebrated and provides opportunity for rewards and a fulfilling life, makes transitioning to the opposite gender an acceptable solution to dysphoria, which it clearly is not. Individuals that attempt to transition to the opposite sex are much more likely to develop mental disorders and twenty times more likely to attempt suicide. (c) Respect for Authority, clearly many children who enter school do not show proper respect for authority and do not follow basic classroom conduct rules. This not only is detrimental to their learning but interferes with the learning of others. Clear, consistent conduct rules must be established and enforced. Students should not be permitted to call their teachers by their first names since that level of familiarity diminishes respect for the authority of the teacher. Teachers are not the students’ pals.(d) Environmental Catastrophe. The idea that mankind’s actions are the primary cause of climate change is a theory and not proven fact. Teaching children that extreme climate change threatens to destroy the world in their lifetimes can only produce fear and discouragement. Through positive and creative action mankind can deal with whatever climate change that occurs. Optimism not pessimism!
Last but not least, is not allowing students to have access to their cell-phones at school. A great deal of mental stress on students occurs on social media. Children spend too much time on often detrimental sites like Tik-Tok and Facebook. Negative messages that impact a student can distract the student for hours during the school day.
If Boards of Education and the school administrations are seriously concerned about the mental health of their students they will focus on improving the school climate not on treating problems after they occur.