I will continue to stand up for our children suffering from mental health issues related to the COVID isolation.
11/17/2020 07:08:44 pm
Ms. Manning, With all due respect please understand that Ms. Melnyk made this statement on behalf of me, a constituent (also one of yours since your are a member at large).
11/18/2020 07:46:54 am
That doesn't change the fact that Melnyk said she didn't think this was causing mental health issues. It doesn't change the fact that it was an untrue and insensitive statement. If Melnyk doesn't care about the welfare of the children than she shouldn't be on the school board, period.
11/18/2020 07:49:12 am
The quote that you attributed to me is false. I have never said what you quoted me as saying. I have said that I believe that our metrics should be based on hospitalizations and deaths in our area rather than eastern region total cases and percentages. I have also said that our hospitalization and death rates remain low in VB. I have also said that COVID isolation has increased the need for mental health specialists and that it is nearly impossible to find a reputable counselor. I have never said that I didn't believe there were not mental health issues in the past. In fact, I have been fighting to improve student discipline and bullying problems in our schools for the last few years that I believe contribute to the problem. I'm so sorry to hear about the challenges your family has faced prior to COVID and again I have never said those problems didn't exist. Data shows that the problems have INCREASED with COVID isolation and I have many reports of COVID related mental health issues directly from parents. I believe strongly that we must get our kids back into school in order to help relieve the mental health struggles, yet my colleague chastised me for having that viewpoint.
11/22/2020 04:18:29 am
You are exactly right, Mrs Manning. Thank you for standing up for these students. As a former middle school teacher, I can verify that the mental health issues have been getting progressively worse over the last decade to the point that it has become alarming. As a current high school teacher, I can also say that this isolation has made it even worse. Even without seeing my students face to face I see major signs of depression among my students including not bathing, not getting dressed, and lack of interest in schoolwork. I teach a special population for whom distance learning is extremely difficult (ELLs) and some are failing every single subject and will not turn in even the simplest of assignments. Their internet connections are spotty, the Zoom meetings freeze and lag for them, and often the audio is so bad we can’t even understand each other. They can learn NOTHING this way. These last couple of years are so incredibly important and they are being thrown away. This is their last real opportunity to become proficient in English before joining the workforce. In the original plan, they were supposed to be given preferential access to school, but they are NOT. They have been treated like everyone else. I am heartsick over my inability to help them. I am always doing too much and not enough. I feel helpless. I feel like they have no voice.
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