Like many youngsters his age, Relic LaMountain offers with the stresses that include being a pupil, changing into a younger grownup and adapting to a quickly altering world.
Unlike most youngsters his age, the 16-year-old Heritage High School sophomore needs to make use of his voice to begin a dialog on psychological well being in his faculty district and the way it handles delicate conditions.
“This is something I’ve been around forever,” LaMountain mentioned. “I’ve dealt with mental illness myself, and I’ve just never had a way to deal with stress. I was always scared that I was going to make my parents look bad by telling people how I felt.”
In the final two months, two college students who attended Heritage High in Ringgold, Georgia, have died and their deaths have made an influence on LaMountain. He was shut with one of many college students, and after realizing he may have performed extra to doubtlessly assist his buddy, he determined to not sit again any longer.
LaMountain plans to attend Monday’s Catoosa County Schools board assembly and strongly advocate for a change to the district’s coverage in relation to college students who need to speak in confidence about delicate matters comparable to self-harm.
Dr. Lamar Brown, the system’s director of pupil companies, mentioned Catoosa County Schools follows state protocol in relation to such situations. The first step is for the school to assemble a suicide disaster intervention workforce made up of directors, counselors, pupil useful resource officers, social employees and nurses to find out the seriousness of the state of affairs.
Protocol states the primary precedence is to put the coed in a safe space with an applicable particular person from the intervention workforce and to “notify parent/guardian as soon as is practicable.”
LaMountain believes that coverage truly deters and discourages college students from talking to high school counselors and different employees members.
Heritage High School sophomore Relic LaMountain, 16, is proposing a brand new faculty district coverage known as a “Privacy Protection Policy” that may consist of 4 components.
School counselors won’t be permitted to contact college students’ dad and mom or authorized guardians except:
1. The pupil posed an imminent hazard to themselves or others.
2. The pupil speaks of ideas of harming different college students. (in any type.)
three. The pupil had displayed quite a few bodily or verbal acts of violence comparable to preventing or threats of hurt to different college students.
four. The pupil instantly requests that their dad and mom be made a part of the dialog.
He mentioned he understands the significance of involving dad and mom of their youngsters’s lives, however he want to see counselors and different college members be a greater and extra reliable outlet for college students.
“Parents and adults need to be making sure that their children are doing OK mentally,” he mentioned. “Sharing emotions must be normalized to maintain a positive relationship and atmosphere for these children and teens.”
LaMountain would not consider the present coverage is acceptable to fulfill pupil wants.
“You’re gonna be made to feel more like a problem than a person,” he mentioned. “I think we do that way too much in today’s society.”
DOING MORE FOR HIS COMMUNITY
The Catoosa County Schools system has taken college students’ psychological well being critically for a few years, district spokeswoman Marissa Brower mentioned.
“Providing mental health services and support is not a new thing for us,” she mentioned. “We have been proactive in this position for at least a couple of years.”
The faculty district companions with Georgia Hope to supply psychological well being counselors within the colleges. Two years in the past the district had 5, this 12 months that quantity elevated to 12 and subsequent 12 months the district plans to have one in each faculty.
Those professionals are totally different from faculty counselors and add one other factor to the district’s effort to assist college students with psychological well being, Brower mentioned.
Brown emphasised there are nonetheless questions surrounding the deaths of the 2 college students however added the psychological well being of scholars is a high precedence for the district.
LaMountain mentioned it is an ongoing downside that appears to be getting worse.
In a report launched earlier this month, Voices for Georgia’s Children discovered that between 2017 and 2018, Georgia noticed a 45.6% soar in teenagers trying suicide.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
LaMountain not too long ago met with Brown, Heritage High Principal Ronnie Bradford and a faculty counselor to speak a few Facebook put up LaMountain wrote and shared on his mom’s web page.
Brown mentioned it was necessary for members of the district to listen to from somebody who was so enthusiastic about making a change.
After assembly, Brown prompt LaMountain be a part of a student-first effort and an after-school program, Brown mentioned. LaMountain mentioned that may be a great way for college students to take possession of the problem.
Contact Patrick Filbin at email@example.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.