“Preventing School Violence by Starting with School Counselors”
In the weeks following yet another mass school shooting so many parents wonder why is this happening and what can they do to prevent it. Let me express one way beginning with the school counselors at our children’s schools.
School counselors’ role is supposedly to improve your child’s academic success, career development and personal/social health. (ASCA 2016). Part of this should include helping children overcome issues that affect academics and overall wellness. Therefore counselors have an obligation to build positive relationships and rapport with ALL children in the school. Each student should trust their counselor enough to talk to him/her, which puts an adult in a position to stop violent behaviors and/or intervene in anyway possible.
Unfortunately, the role of school counselors have changed.
They are not available to counsel children because of the non-counselor duties they are given, which means they are not building relationships with the students nor any form of positive rapport. Instead they are completing state paperwork, assessments and other clerical duties.
As an advocate for my two adopted sons I recently filed a state complaint against the school counselor at our local school, for her participation in using restraints and isolation as a form of discipline for my son. The role of the school counselor are clear with the ASCA ( American School Counselor Association). School Counselors should advocate for students and NOT PARTICIPATE in any form of discipline.
What Can Parents Do?
Inquire about the time your school counselor spend with the students and advocate for time to be spent with them.
Contact the administrators and school board members and request the administrative duties be completed by non-counseling staff.
Advocate for counselors to implement the ASCA’s “Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program”.
As a society we have to try whatever we feel will work to prevent another school shooting.As parents we can start at the counselors level by demanding students have a trusted adult to talk to and can possibly stop any future violent behaviors.