LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — With another school threat taking place in Acadiana the question becomes “What will it take to prevent the issue from getting even worse?”
Since returning from the pandemic, schools across the country have seen an increase in action such as fighting, talking back to teachers, even threats of violence; 74 school threats have taken place in Acadiana this year alone.
When trying to find the root of the issue, Emma Carline with Clarte Counseling said the 2020 lockdown resulted in many students falling behind socially.
“We were out of school for like nine months and nine months is a huge chunk of time, especially in an elementary or middle school kid’s life to socially mature,” Carline said. “For them to have those interactions and understand how to act appropriately, and the just don’t have that.”
Falling behind socially isn’t something teachers and schools can prepare for, so students adjusting to the new normal presented these behavioral issues.
The pandemic also saw rapid growth in social media usage, leading many kids to give in to impulse and make statements such as school threats.
When it comes to helping children improve and change their actions, the process is much more difficult than anticipated.
“There’s no cookie cutter or straight up answer that’s going to get your kid on the right path, it depends on the kid,’ Carline said. “The kid will make a decision to act right, when they want to act right. That’s not a fault of the parent or a fault of the school. Until they mature enough to focus outside of that they are not able to think clearly and prevent those actions and those thoughts.”
Carline said too much time is wasted pointing the blame at parents or at schools for not doing enough, when the simple truth is relationships are the key.
“It’s a family system in all honesty. You have the parents, the kids, the school, you have the friends, then any other outside influence so if the kid plays a sport or goes to dancing. All of those things influence the system as a whole,” Carline said. “In order to combat some of these things you can’t just point the finger at the school or point the finger at the parent. You have to look at the system as a whole, it’s not just one.”
Carline said without the combined efforts of parents, friends and school staff “progress” may not be an option.