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Survey By Sandy Hook Parents Brings Attention To School Mental Health

crying mental health
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Parents, students and educators agree that mental health is important to keep schools safe, according to an annual survey run by parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Michele Gay and Alissa Parker co-founded Safe and Sound Schools after both lost their daughters in the shooting that killed 20 children and six educators.

Gay said they found students and parents were overwhelmingly happy with how schools prioritize mental health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That’s really good news in my estimation, because I am a very strong advocate for a focus on mental and behavioral health in the school community in order to ensure that everybody’s safe and sound,” Gay said.

But Gay said there’s an increasing gap in how students and parents see their schools’ safety. Many aren’t nearly as confident as educators and administrators that schools are doing enough.

“That’s something we all should sit up and take note of back home and really try to replicate this survey in our own school districts so that we have a really solid understanding of how our constituents, you know, our customers are feeling,” Gay said.

Gay said parents, students and teachers also agree about other ways to keep schools safe — including school resource officers and regular training on what to do in case of a crisis like a school shooting.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.