SEATTLE, Washington — Students at Ingraham High School are requesting more mental health support from Seattle Public Schools in the wake of a student’s shooting death in a school hallway. Students intending to leave class on Monday to protest the lack of safety precautions and the millions of dollars that should be allocated to school counsellors.
The Seattle Student Union is pleading with the city council to set aside millions for school mental health counsellors, ideally one for every 200 students in each high school to represent the diversity of students’ experiences. Additionally, they are urging politicians to pass updated safe storage regulations, outlaw assault weapons, and give SPS staff more de-escalation and anti-racism security training.
Students told KOMO that increasing the number of school resource officers is not the solution and that more mental health resources are needed to combat gun violence instead. Students are hopeful that the walkout will send a message to district administrators and state politicians, including one who was in lockdown while police searched for the shooter.
Looking at the expanding memorial outside IHS, Roosevelt High School student Olive Pennington remarked, “Since it’s so near to home, I feel like it’s becoming a greater concern than it has been in the past.” “If this is happening so frequently and so close by, I believe we need to make a change.”
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One Nathan Hale HS student, who wished to remain unidentified, has decided to leave class on Monday. Her school, Nathan Hale High School, was on lockdown throughout the shooting. More mental health services, according to her, might not have been able to stop the tragedy last week, but they could be able to stop something similar in the future.
It was alarming since nobody knew exactly what was happening, she said.
According to the Washington Association of Schools Psychologists, which provided this information to KOMO earlier this year, the number of mental health professionals in the state is typically two times higher than the national recommendation, with some psychologists caring for more than five times as many students.
More mental health services, according to several students, would not have been able to stop the tragedy from last week, but they could have been able to save lives down the road.
The kid who chose to remain anonymous added, “Students and people are going through so much, especially after COVID.
The district has been forming a so-called Threat and Community Action Team since last week in order to determine how SPS might increase safety.
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