Oct 10, 2019

Parkland, Santa Fe schools reveal struggles after mass shootings

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

High school students from both Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe High School in Texas are struggling with depression, drug abuse and disciplinary challenges after last year's mass shootings, Politico reports.

What's happening: The schools have had to call in mental health professionals and security officers to cope with an uptick in student misconduct.

Background: In February 2018, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, killing 17 people. Three months later, another school shooting at Santa Fe High School resulted in 10 dead.

The impact:

  • At Santa Fe, counselors have provided more than 3,400 hours of support as of the end of the last school year, with almost 60% of students having experienced some form of trauma.
  • At Marjory Stoneman Douglas, requests for increased assistance related to mental, physical and behavioral health increased by 78%, and the school rose 20 spots on Broward County school district's instances of drug abuse list.

What's next: Both school districts are applying for federal School Emergency Response to Violence grants in search of further financial aid for recovery resources.

  • Last year, the Department of Education allotted both districts $1 million in grants immediately after the shootings.
  • "Faculty and staff still need additional training in self-care, trauma-informed strategies and suicide awareness and prevention to assist traumatized students," Politico writes.

Go deeper

Schools giving students mental-health days

Students at El Sereno Middle School in Los Angeles in 2019. Photo: Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Daily Breeze via Getty Images

Some states and school systems are letting students stay home for mental health reasons in light of rising youth anxiety, depression and suicide rates, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The suicide rate for people ages 10 to 24 increased by 56% between 2007 and 2017, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this month.

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019

Florida Senate votes to boot Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel

Photo: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Habitat for Humanity of Broward

The Florida Senate voted 25-15 on Wednesday to finalize Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

The big picture: Israel's leadership had been in question for his department's response to two mass shootings, including the 2018 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and the 2017 Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting. Lawmakers from both parties voiced concerns over DeSantis' removal of a locally elected official, pushing instead for the issue to be sent to voters. Proponents of Israel's ousting argued it's a matter of accountability.

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019

Kamala Harris introduces bill to keep schools open later each day

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during a Nov. 1 event in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would encourage schools to keep schools open three hours longer on weekdays to fit better with parents' work schedules.

"My bill provides an innovative solution that will help reduce the burden of child care on working families. It is time we modernize the school schedule to better meet the needs of our students and their families."
— Harris' statement on the Family Friendly Schools bill
Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019