Monday, June 05, 2006

17 pct. at 2 schools practice self-abuse

"Nearly 1 in 5 students at two Ivy League schools say they have purposely injured themselves by cutting, burning or other methods, a disturbing phenomenon that psychologists say they are hearing about more often." According to the article on Yahoo News, "the results of the survey at Cornell and Princeton are similar to other estimates on this frightening behavior. Counselors say it's happening at colleges, high schools and middle schools across the country."

Students in my high school classes call it "cutting," and some of them do it; almost everyone in my classes knows someone who cuts themselves. As a teacher, it is important that we create a classroom environment where students feel safe and secure among their peers, among their teachers.

This safety can only come from within a room where students are heard. When kids are given a chance to talk, to share what is going on in their worlds outside of schools, they relish that time. Schools cannot be looked to to solve all of the problems in society, but they should and must be a place where kids can seek understanding of their worlds, of their lives, and of themselves. If the learning environment can find a way to allow kids to learn from eachother and about eachother, we just may have a chance to help assist in some of these problems.

"Cutting" is not a school problem, it is a societal problem. Society is in our schools, so let our students participate in it. Schools can no longer exist as concrete fortresses built to keep the world out. The daily pressures and anxieties our students feel is real, and it comes from the world outside of the school. Let's knock down the walls and let their worlds in.

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