I’m just not so sure that we really want to tack this on to the lengthing list of school responsibilities. At Linda Flanagan’s Mind Shift blog, an argument is made for providing mental health treatment within the schools–practitioners on staff. There is little doubt that many students from lower income and urban environments are subject to potentially traumatizing events possibly having a negative effect on the desire and ability to learn. Even a family relocation and new school are emotionally disruptive and require some readjustment. Counseling and therapy may well be in order.
However, schools have already assumed many responsibilities previously reserved to parents: feeding, guiding, disciplining, and providing physical health care, pre-school education, and child care. There is no doubt well-fed, physically and mentally healthy children with parents who actively participate in the learning process will tend to succeed in school. I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe mom and dad can be effectively replaced by government, no matter how well-intended. And I just can’t stop equating where we are headed with the old Soviet Union’s cradle-to-grave state-controlled system. It didn’t work there and it frightens me. As what point do parents simply become breeding tools of the state?