On Friday, students are going to walk out of school to remember the Columbine school shooting, and demand more stringent gun control laws. But, have any of these students looked at what happened at Columbine ? Do they know what was going on inside the school?
I’ve been an outspoken critic of our schools being turned into mental health facilities. Not because mental health isn’t important, but because those treating children are not properly trained or educated.
It takes years of education and training for a Child Psychologist to earn their degree. They then take an oath to uphold the ethical boundaries that guide their professional career. They risk losing their license if they do not adhere to the guidelines put in place. This is absent from many schools that dabble in mental health today.
Some schools in New Hampshire are already assessing students on their mental health without parental consent or knowledge. (See articles listed at the end of this post) This in itself is a violation of the APA’s Code of Ethics.
The Columbine school district was experimenting on children when they taught Death Education. This old video from 20/20 highlights how 1 out of 10 schools were teaching death education at that time. The reporter even mentions how the effects on students were not known. (1:40)
It is not only unethical to practice this kind of pseudo psychology in the schools, it’s dangerous. This kind of education is introduced in Kindergarten. No child was immune from becoming an experiment on death. Children even designed their own tombstones.
There may be some children who are not negatively impacted by this kind of education; however, no one knows exactly how this will impact all children. For instance, asking children to go back to a difficult time while sitting in a class with their peers can be traumatizing as shown in video. They go on to mention that psychologists have said that this is potentially DANGEROUS, and may cause unnecessary trauma when conducted by an untrained person. (8:15) The teacher, who attended ONE-DAY of training, admitted he’s not trained to deal with an emotional crisis.
Finally they interviewed a student who was seduced into suicide based on what was presented in the Death Education class. (11:00). Death became “appealing” to her, and planned her own suicide. The students talked about what they wanted to look like in their own casket. She even looked for a cliff to drive over to gain freedom from her body. This is what the teacher in her class talked about.
School administrators went on to deny any responsibility. And at the end, it was revealed that parents were not informed about what was being taught to their children.
Ask the kids who are going to protest for more gun control on Friday, if they are aware of what was being done to children who attended the Columbine schools.
In the text under the youtube video it says:
“I have been speaking to Lisa Shreve, a producer of the piece on 20/20. I asked her, when the Columbine shooting happened you felt the need to explore the Death Education Curriculum that you found in your report? You wanted to revisit the piece because you felt it was related to the Columbine shooting, right? “Yes I did”, producer at 20/20, Lisa Shreve said.”
I’m afraid the students who are walking out Friday appear to be using the Columbine tragedy in an effort to push a political agenda on gun control. Those who are concerned about what drives someone to murder their classmates will want to look at all aspects of these horrific tragedies. Removing a dangerous curriculum from Columbine may have been all that was needed.
Parents need to watch closely what their children learn in schools. They need to be vigilant when schools take on the role of mental health provider. They need to demand that they are informed, and that the school requires their consent before any kind of assessment or treatment is provided.
The new education fad engulfing schools right now is, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Competency Based Eduction. SEL now includes competencies, but has been difficult to define for many school administrators now engaging in this newest fad. Children in some New Hampshire schools are being assessed to meet social and emotional competencies on their mental health without parental knowledge or consent. That sensitive information has been passed on to researchers at Plymouth State University, and parents were never notified nor did they consent. Are they also treating these children without the knowledge or consent from parents too? Possibly.
School administrators need to learn from past mistakes in order to avoid making similar ones in the future. This is too important to mess up.
To the students walking out of school, please look at what was going on at Columbine. This is too important to allow yourselves to be used for a political agenda instead of looking at meaningful ways to make sure our kids are safe when they go to school.
For more information, please see:
UNH, surveys on children, and who is looking out for them
Are NH Schools Practicing Mental Health Quackery On Your Kids?
Ann Marie Banfield began volunteering as Cornerstone’s Education Liaison in 2009. As an education researcher and activist she took her decade long research on education to Concord to lobby on behalf of parental rights and literacy. Working with experts in education from across the country, she offers valuable insight into problems and successes in education. She holds a B.A. in Business Management from Franklin University in Columbus Ohio. Ann Marie and her husband have three children and reside in Hampton, NH