Inclusive school community key to helping disaffected students

04/1/2005 | USA Today

The school shooting in Red Lake, Minn., is an opportunity to open a "deeper discussion about the role schools play in students' mental health and social acclimatization," according to Sam Chaltain and Molly McCloskey, co-directors of the First Amendment Schools project, an initiative co-sponsored by ASCD and the First Amendment Center. Chaltain and McCloskey note schools cannot solve all of their students' problems, but say schools can take three crucial steps to make disaffected students feel more at home. These steps include allowing students to speak more in school, crafting policies and practices that encourage respectful, responsible behavior and ensuring that all students feel connected to at least one adult.

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