INSIGHT FROM RETIRED SCHOOL COUNSELOR Mr. Michael Currey: “As a guidance counselor for the past 31 years I have had some wonderful experiences; watching students getting accepted to the college of their choice, helping others secure scholarships which enable them to go onto higher education and lastly, watching the graduation ceremony every year and knowing how hard some students worked to simply meet graduation requirements. Most of my job is positive and rewarding. However, I also deal with some very challenging issues that some of my students endure every day: depression, anxiety, divorce of parents, physical abuse, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, etc. All of these problems have a great impact on a student’s ability to learn. Let’s face it, it’s tough doing Algebra or Chemistry with a troubled mind.
One of the problems some students face, which is getting national attention, is bullying and/or harassment. Over a period of time, bullying can have a cumulative effect and the person being bullied may become mentally worn down and believe that they are trapped in an impossible situation with no help nor hope in sight. At this point signs of depression may appear: difficulty sleeping, difficulty enjoying the company of friends, loss of appetite, general feelings of sadness and eventually thoughts of suicide may begin to surface.
Obviously not all bullying leads to depression and suicide. However, long-term and unaddressed bullying and harassment greatly increase the chances that these two conditions may arise.
Many parents are looking to the schools for help. Since it is impossible to watch every student every minute of the day, teachers and administration rely on students to take some responsibility and report when they become victims of this problem themselves. Like many societal problems, this one will only disappear when we all chip in and do our part.
Some socially conscious students at Central Columbia have formed a group called Students Against Destructive Decision Making. The group is in the early stages of development, but one of its missions is to address the bullying problem at Central Columbia. Students are more than happy to get involved. Questions about the group may be directed to Mrs. Alycia Fairchild and Mrs. Jen Haubert (advisors).
Teachers and Families