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EDITORIAL: Mental health initiative a good move for schools

Brunswick News - 7/20/2018

July 19--The Glynn County School System took an important step toward ensuring the complete education and well being of Golden Isles youth last week.

The board, on the recommendation of superintendent Virgil Cole, approved the new position of director of student services that will oversee, among some other things, services for mental health programs offered to students.

The idea, as Cole said, is to provide "wrap-around type support, to make sure we create a supportive environment for students."

Mental health is often an under addressed issue in public schools, where children from all walks of life and all demographics gather every day under one roof. Teachers have dozens of children to teach, counselors have often hundreds of children to think about and administrators have an entire school to watch over -- there is little time for all of them to consider the emotional well being of every child.

Appointing a point person at the county level to lead emotional curriculum and mental health initiatives system wide will hopefully better equip the teachers, counselors and administrators to deal with the varying situations they may encounter.

Every family is different. Children in our school system are dealing with everything from family deaths, divorce, homelessness, hunger and extreme poverty. Those are just a few of the challenges facing many of our local children, so it makes sense to have a student services department to find new methods for addressing those issues -- whether those are weekly counseling situations, classes focusing on building meaningful relationships or programs to prevent depression and suicide.

We also commend Cole on his choice of Senetra Haywood as the new director. Haywood has a wide range of experience as an administrator and has dealt with students at all levels. We wish her well in the new endeavor and look forward to seeing the fruits of her and the school system's labor to ensure our local students emerge as well-rounded adults.


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