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Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:
Over the past decade, kids’ mental health hospitalizations have surged.
States have been spending Covid relief funds on positive reforms.
The school shooting in Nashville reveals misperceptions about this kind of violence.
To read more, click on the following links.
Research & Practice
Kids’ Mental Health Hospitalizations Surged Over Past Decade
MedPage Today: Pediatric hospitalizations for mental health diagnoses increased significantly from 2009 to 2019, with most cases in 2019 involving attempted suicide or self-injury, a retrospective analysis showed. Among over 200,000 pediatric hospitalizations, the proportion of those involving attempted suicide, suicidal ideation, or self-injury diagnoses significantly increased from 30.7% in 2009 to 64.2% in 2019. The overall number of mental health hospitalizations increased by 25.8% over this time period, and accounted for an increasing proportion of pediatric hospitalizations, days spent in the hospital, and transfers between facilities. These increases come during an ongoing shortage of trained mental health professionals to care for these patients.
The Income Gap Is Becoming a Physical-Activity Divide
New York Times: Across the country, poor children and adolescents are participating far less in sports and fitness activities than more affluent young people, revealing a “physical-activity divide.” A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that 70 percent of children from families with incomes above about $105,000 — four times the poverty line — participated in sports in 2020. But participation was around 51 percent for families in a middle-income range, and just 31 percent for families at or below the poverty line. Spending cuts and changing priorities at some public schools have curtailed physical education classes and organized sports. At the same time, privatized youth sports have become a multibillion-dollar enterprise offering new opportunities for families that can afford hundreds to thousands of dollars each season for club-team fees, uniforms, equipment, travel to tournaments, and private coaching.
How Have State Ed Leaders Prioritized Academics And Mental Health In ESSER Initiatives?
K-12 Dive: The pandemic exacerbated students’ academic and mental health struggles, but states made several positive reforms in developing recovery programs. Those reforms include comprehensive tutoring initiatives, sophisticated data collection and analysis systems, and partnerships across government and nongovernment sectors, said state education leaders during the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. Top education officials from Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and other states talked about how their plans for recovery interventions had to be adjusted as pandemic impacts were better understood. They also discussed how they are looking at the sustainability of pandemic initiatives once Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds run out.
Around the Nation
What the Tragedy in Nashville Reveals About School Safety
Education Week: After three young children and three adults died in a shooting at a church-run elementary school in Nashville, Tenn., lawmakers and activists launched into familiar debates about guns and safety. As lawmakers debated gun laws and President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass a new assault weapons ban, educators and parents expressed pain and confusion about the loss of life in a place that is supposed to be safe. The common misconception that mass shooters suddenly “snap” and impulsively carry out violence can be counterproductive for educators and policymakers seeking to prevent violence through early intervention. That’s because friends and loved ones who don’t understand how violent intentions develop over time may miss a chance to intervene after witnessing signs of concerning behavior. See related article: NPR “What We Know About The Deadly Shooting At A Nashville Elementary School.”
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