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35 School Children Committed Suicide In Last Three Years In New York City

March 31, 2014

This news story bolted me upright in my desk chair today.  When I read about the shortage of guidance counselors my heart sank.  We must do better at funding these resources that can make a difference for our nation’s youth.  Anything less is unconscionable.

I am just guessing that the number of sports-related employees did not fall by the same percentage in the city schools as guidance counselors.

Thirty-five public-school kids have killed themselves in the past three school years, the Department of Education revealed — an unpublicized trend that Chancellor Carmen Fariña only hinted at last week when she told principals in a private meeting that 10 children had taken their lives during her first seven weeks on the job.

The 2011-12 school year saw nine suicides, with 14 in 2012-13. So far this year, with a third of the term left, there have been a dozen, DOE confirmed.

Meanwhile, schools’ safety net for troubled youths is shrinking. The number of social workers, guidance counselors and psychologists assigned to public schools has fallen 7 percent since 2008, going from 5,676 to about 5,300, according to DOE data.

“It’s scary,” said Dr. Roy Lubit, a child psychiatrist. “A small decrease can be devastating.”

 

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