MACON, Ga. — Treat the problem and not just the symptom.
That’s what the Bibb County School District is hoping to achieve with the help of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
“I don’t think that all kids that act out violently are bad kids,” said Miller Fine Arts Magnet School principal Jim Montgomery.
As principal of Miller Magnet, Montogomery, knows a thing or two about kids.
“They are really good kids who are facing insurmountable odds," he said.
And sometimes those odds that students deal with spill over into the classroom.
“Anger. Students who [are] kicking, spitting,” said Jamie Cassady, the assistant superintendent of student affairs for Bibb Schools. “We’re looking at a symptom to a bigger problem. We’re looking to try to understand the root cause and trying to put some measures in place to help that kid to keep him out of the judicial system later on, and it helps them be more successful in our school district."
To break that barrier, counselors in the district are given a Trauma 101 training by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which focuses on three things concerning the emotional well-being of students.
“One is a better awareness, two is for us to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms and thirdly, to be able to understand the importance of early interventions,” said Cassady
Because the earlier an issue is recognized, the better the chance teachers have at helping students be successful in and out of the classroom.
“It is imperative that we truly understand the difficulties that students face outside of the school and that we have a full understanding of how those circumstances influence what they do in school,” said Montgomery.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness trains the counselors once a year in the Trauma 101 training. The counselors then train the teachers.
Cassidy says that the Trauma 101 training happens every school year and comes at no cost to the district.
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