How schools can help prevent student suicide and substance abuse

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  • Granny Saint George, UT
    April 23, 2018 11:37 a.m.

    @Karen Walker. Great idea! But start it in middle school and make the parents participate.

  • Karen Walker Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2018 2:27 p.m.

    We need to institute a new course mandatory for graduation from Utah high schools: DBT Skills.

    A half-year class teaching evidence-based DBT Skills geared toward emotional regulation, busting emotional myths, decreasing impulsivity and reckless behaviors, and improving relationships with others can only show positive results for our children.

    Why are we not already doing this? This would not violate FERPA laws and would save countless lives of especially isolated and marginalized teens with nowhere else to turn for support.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    April 21, 2018 3:49 a.m.

    Epilogue

    Not all will want to go there with us. Not all will be persuaded. But we must not be dissuaded. We must not lose hope. We must teach our children to be honest, patient, willing to suffer "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" without slipping into debilitating despair.

    We must imbue them with a humble sense that they CAN make a difference. It may not be a GREAT difference. But that their contributions matter. One small handful can move mountains if enough hands work together.

    Only in this will we stem the tide of destructive despair. Only in this will we find deep abiding joy. Only in finding a personal connection with an authentic sense of the Divine within us will we begin to be "one" and finally cease to, "castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."

    We can and should do more. Most of us can love more, listen more and become "no more strangers." Oh, I hope we do... in some small way.

    In the end, it is all about love. Do something wise, kind, generous and wonderful today.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    April 21, 2018 3:37 a.m.

    (Post 3 of 3)
    We prostrate ourselves for profit, shuck-off our authentic gifts and believe scheming charlatans promulgating Ponzi schemes. We elevate and venerate coarse and unrefined leaders (and celebrities) as truly authentic and honest when they are in-fact nothing more than charlatans masquerading in a charade employing all the nuanced vision of a dog in heat.

    It is time to return to genuine, caring, refined and kind behavior. It is time to be grateful for and reward it. I know of no way to authentic goodness except through heart-felt prayer, quiet contemplation, meditation, scripture study, humble truth seeking and the diligent acquisition of truth, no matter where it is found. The solution is found in a refined, persuasive, powerful and yet meek mission to serve and bless each other. It is found in abandoning selfishness and rising to ever greater kindness, less worldliness and greater love and unity.

    (There is one more post, let's call it the Epilogue) - thank you again for your patience moderators.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    April 21, 2018 3:31 a.m.

    (Post 2 of 3)

    This isn't all bad. Some ancient viewpoints were well off the mark, self-serving and deserved to be swept away. But to sweep them all away leaves our children without anchor or port in a world largely "at sea."

    Without values, all our children are left to guide them is their gut. If they have a bad day (and who doesn't?), if they are hurt (who isn't?), if they feel picked on or slighted (a common experience), they without values, and so, are ruled by emotion and an active intellect. Without values, without strong solid values, some of them bring a gun to school and open fire.

    Others hang themselves, cut themselves or drown their growing sense of existential despair in substance abuse or promiscuity. All sense of propriety is lost. We are lost. Because we've lost sight of what made us great.

    We've lost our values. We've stopped teaching them. We've stopped rewarding them. We actually ridicule good and honest people and think of them as just a little bit gullible and sort of stupid. They are Forrest Gump. We elevate "thug-life" and worship at the alter of "Get Rich or Die Tryin'."

    Continued in post 3 of 3 (plus one more - thanks for your patience)

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    April 21, 2018 3:23 a.m.

    Post 1 of 3

    C.S. Lewis wrote, "We castrate and bid the geldings, be fruitful.

    His theory revolved around the destructive post-modernist theory that any attempt to teach the sources of our societies traditional Judeo-Christian ethics and values discriminates against those who do not believe in that value system and structure.

    Plato, Lewis observed, believed human thought and action was best divided into thirds. 1.) The head (or intellect) spawns ideas of all sorts; 2.) The heart (the seat of values sifts and dismisses the worst of the ideas spawned in our mind), and finally; 3.) The emotions or the carnal desires which fuel and fire motivating our actions.

    For nearly a very long time, Lewis warned, educational theory has held that values are "relative." They may be "your values" but they should not be arbitrarily imposed on another human being. "Their values, those strange and different ways of seeing the world..." they teach, "are just as valid, just as wise and wonderful as yours."

    Sound familiar? "Open your mind," they teach, "don't discriminate." And subtly, insidiously, they sweep away all moorings of ancient paths proven values.

    (continued in post 2 of 3)

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 20, 2018 7:33 a.m.

    I think this problem has more to do with good homes, individuals and churches than schools. Also could I suggest an article on "schools can increase literacy and numeracy"? I would love to see even something on even how to use an apostrophe (it isn't complicated so are students and /or teachers just lazy and wasting taxpayers' money in their expensive schools).

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    April 20, 2018 6:27 a.m.

    As a former public school teacher and principal, I have experience in both large, intermediate and small schools. Educational studies have reinforced my own observations: small schools have a great student social development advantage (everyone knows everyone else) plus much greater opportunity for participation in extracurricular activities which is important. The problem with small schools is limited curriculum. Larger schools can have a broad and deep curriculum but as the schools increase in size, a student's personal identity changes from a name to a number; strong friendships don't develop as easily plus much less opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. In an intermediate sized secondary school 125-250 students per class, students can have both a broad curriculum (more individual help) plus greater opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities and develop more and deeper friendships. A lot of our behavior problems in the Salt Lake area would be significantly reduced if our high schools had fewer than 250 students per grade. Per student this might cost slightly more, but the benefits would be well worth the sacrifice.