To say that the past year and a half has been challenging for kids, parents and teachers is a bit of an understatement. These trying times created by the seemingly never ending pandemic and public health crisis have altered the way we live, as well as the way in which teaching and public schooling is conducted. In addition to these changes, new and previously unforeseen issues have arisen as a result – creating new problems that need to be addressed.
One of these concerns is the rise in children’s mental health problems and misbehavior in schools. With students having spent the past 18 months learning remotely, there is a huge uptick in anxiety and depression in children, which affects their behavior with peers as well as their ability to learn. This can result in disciplinary action against students, even those who were not considered to be problem children prior to the pandemic.
Attorney Mike Kelly of Kelly & Kelly, PLLC, has noticed this uptick firsthand. As a juvenile law attorney specializing in school offenses and disciplinary actions, Mike is positioned on the front lines of this issue. During his interview with Fox 2, he states that he has seen school disciplinary cases jump from just several every month to nearly five new cases a week. You can see the full interview here.
He explains that just like protocols being adjusted for COVID and social distancing, school districts should adjust their disciplinary measures to accommodate the tremendous stress and uncertainty these students are experiencing. Many of these students are also experiencing a stressful home life due to parents losing their jobs from the pandemic, as well as other financial issues related to the nationwide shutdowns over the past year.
As the state slowly transitions back into in-class instruction, Mike Kelly advises that parents who have children with behavioral issues that are causing problems in school reach out to an experienced juvenile attorney in order to ensure the best possible outcome for their child. While this situation is difficult for all parties involved, it is important to make the best of it as serious disciplinary action taken against a student has the potential to affect their lives long after COVID has ceased.