On the surface, the two stories are unrelated: the appalling upsurge in shootings and homicides in Chicago this year and the Chicago Teachers Union’s announcement of plans for a strike authorization vote. But look closer—there’s a connection. Union leaders want the district to negotiate on a host of issues, among them the lack of social workers and other mental health clinicians in schools. It’s a need that’s become more critical given this year’s upsurge in violence.
Experiencing Trauma: Summer 2012
District leaders understand that children who have witnessed violence or other traumatic events often have trouble in school. But without extra resources or staff, schools are hard-pressed to offer the mental health support that would help students cope with their experience.