East Valley high school students are pleading for help.
From Scottsdale to Gilbert and Mesa to innerdesign, students in the past three months have appeared before governing boards to plead for more social workers and counselors to protect their classmates – not only from a teen who may be a walking time bomb but also from themselves.
“Make this issue treated as the epidemic it is,” implored Gilbert High senior Evan Wood at a recent Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board meeting.
In response to those concerns, the GPS school board last week endorsed a resolution calling on the State Legislature to allocate more money for social workers and counselors.
Tempe Union High School District and Mesa Public Schools have adopted resolutions supporting the need for giving students mental and emotional health services, but their governing boards made no specific demands on legislators and said such services are a shared responsibility among all levels of government.
Tempe Union went one step further than Mesa by recommending the creation of “student peer safety review committees” at each of its seven schools to work with administrators and “examine the social/emotional and physical safety needs of students and through their efforts, be in a position to make recommendations to strengthen and prioritize our work around school safety and for the social/emotional wellness of all students.”