Emotional Safety


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emotional safety School Murder

It is 7:30 on a normal Tuesday morning at Westside Elementary School. The buses
have begun to pull into the child unloading dock and have unloaded the students.
As the buses pull off, the students began to head toward their classroom to wait
for the day to begin. As the day progresses, the students ready themselves for
lunch break. As the teacher's aid opens the door for the students to leave, she
sees four students dressed in long knee length jackets, strut briskly towards
the cafeteria. She pays it little attention and waits for lunch bell to sound.
Shortly after the bell sounds, the students leap out the door and cascade toward
the cafeteria. In the cafeteria there is a stage like platform that jutted out
like a shelf for about a third of the room. That is where all the disruptive, or
the kids that were on "silent lunch", had to sit. About five minutes
until the bell for lunch to be over ringed, four students came into the
lunchroom. The students began to shout ferociously and scream for the students
to lie on the floor of the cafeteria. When the students wouldn't cooperate, the
four boys reach under their coats to pull out .09mm pistols. The teachers in the
lunchroom try to contain the boys and settle them down, but the boys open fire
on them. As the adults fall on the floor, the cafeteria was in an uproar with
frightened, screaming children. With this the young boys open fire into the
crowd of students. Although this scenario is just a figment of this writer's
imagination, we all have been subjected to similar scenes on recent T.V.
newscast. Chabert 2 This kind of horrific event has become a common element in
today's news. What has changed so much in our environment that would possess a
child to destroy another child? The future's survival depends on the existence
of today's youth to survive. The society of today has to dominate over the
corroded minds of the trouble youth. It is time for members of society to open
their eyes and take control of the corrupted youth. The public should be aware
of the preventive measures against violence through out the school system. One
effective preventive measure towards safety in the school system is to establish
metal detectors throughout the school. Many schools of the nineteen nineties
have been equipped with metal detectors due to the latest increase in school
violence. These detectors are placed in the entrance of the school or may be
held by a school resource officer or school staff member. Metal detectors are
used to prevent students from bringing metal objects such as knives, guns and
other potential weapons into the learning atmosphere of the school. "8.3%
of high school students carry a weapon to school today, which is down from 26%
in 1996"(CDC 2). Metal detectors helps to establish a much needed sense of
security and allows students to concentrate on their schoolwork. Many students
believe that these metal detectors will ward off would be violators of the
school's policy, that weapons of any kind or nature would not be permitted on
the school premises. School faculty and staff have reported that they feel safer
and more at ease with the students, when metal detectors are in use. Although
metal detectors are a step in the right direction, they alone are not the only
answer. In order for the full effect of the detectors to be achieved, there must
be some sort of security guard or monitor in place to implement them. Police and
full time security Chabert 3 guards have played an important and necessary role
in education for many years. The extent of policing was limited in the past as
compared to today however. "Police are showing up in suburban and small
town schools"(Robinson 2). The presence of police help to deter students
from violating school policies. A policy such as "no fighting", may
include punishment such as a" three day suspension for first time offenders
"(Robinson 4). Police effectiveness is greatly due to the fact that people
in uniform maintain a higher degree of authority and respect than someone
dressed in regular street clothes. Police alone are but a small percentage of
the overall effectiveness and success of the school security (Greene 3A).
Another percentage of the success rate is due to the counselor-student
relationship. School counselors are a part of the school system and have been
for some time. Until a few years ago, they were hired ... more

emotional safety

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ritalin

   Parents throughout the country are being pressured and compelled by schools to give
psychiatric drugs to their children.  Teachers, school psychologists, and administrators
commonly make dire threats about their inability to teach children without medicating
them.  They sometimes suggest that only medication can stave off a bleak future of
delinquency and occupational failure.  They even call child protective services to
investigate parents for child neglect and they sometimes testify against parents in court.  
Often the schools recommend particular physicians who favor the use of stimulant drugs
to control behavior.  These stimulant drugs include methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta,
and Metadate) or forms of amphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall).
     My purpose today is to provide to this class the scientific basis for rejecting the use of
stimulants for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or for the control of
behavior in the classroom or home.
I. Escalating Rates of Stimulant Prescription
    Stimulant drugs, including methylphenidate and amphetamine, were first approved for
the control of behavior in children during the mid-1950s.  Since then, there have been
periodic attempts to promote their usage, and periodic public reactions against the
practice.  In fact, the first Congressional hearings critical of stimulant medication were
held in the early 1970s when an estimated 100,000-200,000 children were receiving these
drugs.
    Since the early 1990s, North America has turned to psychoactive drugs in
unprecedented numbers for the control of children. In November 1999, the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) warned about a record six-fold increase in Ritalin
production between 1990 and 1995.  In 1995, the International Narcotics Control Board
(INCB), a agency of the World Health Organization, deplored that 10 to 12 percent of
all boys between the ages 6 and 14 in the United States have been diagnosed as having
ADD and are being treated with methylphenidate [Ritalin]. In March 1997, the board
declared, "The therapeutic use of methylphenidate is now under scrutiny by the American
medical community; the INCB welcomes this."  The United States uses approximately
90% of the world's Ritalin.
    The number of children on these drugs has continued to escalate. A recent study in
Virginia indicated that up to 20% of white boys in the fifth grade were receiving
stimulant drugs during the day from school officials.  Another study from North Carolina
showed that 10% of children were receiving stimulant drugs at home or in school.  The
rates for boys were not disclosed but probably exceeded 15%.  With 53 million children
enrolled in school, probably more than 5 million are taking stimulant drugs.
    A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Zito and her
colleagues has demonstrated a three-fold increase in the prescription of stimulants to 2-4
year old toddlers.
II.  The Dangers of Stimulant Medication
    Until recently, no studies have systematically examined the rate of psychotic
symptoms caused by routine treatment with stimulant drugs such as methylphenidate
(Ritalin) and amphetamine (Dexedrine, Adderall).  Doctors who prescribe stimulant
drugs often seem forgetful to the fact that they can cause psychoses, including manic-like
and schizophrenic-like disorders.  Without providing a scientific basis, the literature often
cities rates of 1% or less for stimulant-induced psychoses.  
    The rate of psychotic symptoms that appear during stimulant treatment has recently
been investigated in a 5-year retrospectives study of children diagnosed with Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADH).  Among 192 children diagnosed with ADHD at
the Canadian clinic, 98 had been placed on stimulant drugs, mostly methylphenidate.  
Psychotic symptoms developed in more than 9% of the children treated with
methylphenidate.  The psychotic symptoms caused by methylphenidate included
hallucinations and paranoia.
    When children developed depression, delusions, hallucinations, paranoid fears and
other drug-induced reactions while taking stimulants, their physicians mistakenly
concluded that the children suffered from clinical depression, schizophrenia or
bipolar disorder that has been unmasked by the medications.  Instead of removing the
child from the stimulants, these doctors mistakenly prescribed additional drugs, such as
antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and neroleptics.  Children who were put on stimulants
for inattention or hyperactivity ended up taking multiple adult psychiatric drugs that
caused severe adverse effects, including psychoses and tardive dyskinesia.
    It is time to recognize that the supposedly increasing rates of schizophrenia,
depression, and bipolar disorder in children in North America are often the direct
result of ... more

emotional safety

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