Back to School: Why America Needs Social Emotional Learning Before Academics

In the global learning laboratory that has been our shared, realtime classroom for grappling with a worldwide pandemic, each of us — adult, parent and child — is a student. 

– We’ve learned that no nation state on this planet can exist in isolation, walling itself off from the rest of the world. As a slogan, “America First” now sadly represents our ranking in the number of coronavirus deaths inside our borders compared to every other country on earth.

– We’ve learned that face masks are not a masquerade for any one political party but a means of blocking the transference of an unrelenting virus. Faceshields or eyewear are better still if the other person is not wearing a mask. Covid-19 has also been discovered to have an aerosol capacity so the virus can hang in the air for several minutes like an ominous cloud. A mask acts like an umbrella.

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The Struggle Continues: Racial Disparity in School Discipline


I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

– Excerpt from “I Have a Dream,” speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963, Washington, D.C.

More than 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. articulated this dream, children’s academic and social success in U.S. public schools continues to depend, unfortunately, too much on the color of their skin. Compared to white students, African-American, Latino, and Native American students tend to achieve lower grades in key subject areas like reading and math, are disciplined more often and more severely, and graduate at lower rates. At the same time, black, Latino, and Native American youth are more likely to have contact with the juvenile justice system. These disparities have existed for decades, and—especially in the area of disciplinary exclusions—have increased since the 1970s. Continue reading

How to Help a Troubled Youth

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Reprinted with Permission from CPI

©CPI 2014. All content herein used with the permission of Crisis Prevention Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

By Erin Harris | Posted on 08.26.2014 |

Oftentimes, kids with cognitive, emotional, or behavioral issues need your help.

But sometimes the behavior of a child or teen who struggles with a physical or emotional challenge can be hard to handle to say the least. The issues troubled kids deal with can cause them to act out in a variety of ways: They might be angry, frustrated, or defensive; they might be withdrawn or aggressive; they might challenge or resist your attempts to help. In these situations, their stress responses can flood them with emotions so intense that they’re unable to think or communicate rationally.

So what are your options when everything you try to do to help ends up escalating a kid’s behavior instead of defusing it? Continue reading