The shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut stopped a nation in its tracks – leading us to look again at our gun laws, at our failures in dealing with mental health issues and maybe, just maybe, preparing us to find answers that prevent a future tragedy. What’s shocking is that this was just another in a very long list of horrific school shootings – shootings that have been happening for generations. Rebecca Coffey is a journalist who’s investigated the history of school shootings in her book, Murders Most Foul: and the School Shooters in Our Midst.
Coming up, police training to help defuse a crisis – a story you won’t forget. Plus, a school program that helps troubled kids early.
Sometimes, when we’re lucky, police are able to intervene before a tragedy happens. But it takes training, and understanding, to de-escalate a crisis. Chicago Police officer Julie Joyce specializes in these tense situations. Joe DeCeault of WBEZ explains she’s got a special relationship with these kids.
A diagnosis of childhood ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a growing trend – with the Center for Disease Control reporting numbers increasing by more than 5% a year. In 2007, parents reported almost ten percent of children under the age of 17 were diagnosed with ADHD. The CDC estimates one in 88 children in the US is born with an Autism Spectrum Disorder… anything from mild Aspberger’s to severe Autism. Other statistics estimate that at any time, one in ten children and adolescents is affected by a serious emotional disturbance. Our schools are struggling to meet the needs of all their students…but it’s clearly not a one size fits all population. In the rural Onteora School District in New York’s Catskills region, there’s a program called MAPS – the Management Attention Program Special class…and it’s finding and helping kids early. Cindy Bishop is Director of Pupil Personnel Services.
That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our theme music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.