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Exam Code: CPCE Practice exam 2022 by Killexams.com team
CPCE Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination

Human growth and development
Assessment and training
Social and cultural diversity
Career development
Research and program evaluation
Counseling and helping relationships
Professional counseling orientation and ethical practice
Group counseling and group work

Human Growth and Development - Developmental Issues
Studies that provide an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels.

Social and Cultural Foundations

- Professional Counseling Orientation
Studies that provide an understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society.

- Professional Orientation School Counseling
- Counseling Diverse Populations Helping Relationships
- Theories of Counseling and Personality

Studies that provide an understanding of counseling and consultation processes.

- Basic Techniques in Counseling
Group Work - Dynamics and Processes in Group Counseling
Studies that provide an understanding of group development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group work approaches.

Career and Lifestyle Development - Career Counseling Studies that provide an understanding of career development and related life factors.
Assessment - Assessment in Counseling Studies that provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
Research and Program Evaluation - Research Seminar Studies that provide an understanding of types of research methods, basic statistics, and ethical and legal considerations in research.
Professional Orientation & Ethics - Advanced Counselor Ethics Studies that provide an understanding of all aspects of professional functioning including history, roles, organizational structures, ethics, standards, and credentialing.
Why the Killexams Professional Counseling Program uses the CPCE
The CPCE was selected because it evaluates the eight CACREP core content areas and is a national standardized examination. In addition, the CPCE:

Allows Masters level comprehensive exams to better meet psychometric standards.
Gives programs an objective view of the knowledge level of their students.
Allows programs to examine student functioning in various curricular areas.
Promotes longitudinal self-study.
Compares a programs results to national data.
Stimulates student integration of knowledge learned in separate courses.
Gives students comparative strength / weakness feedback.

Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination
Counselor Comprehensive learner
Killexams : Counselor Comprehensive learner - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/CPCE Search results Killexams : Counselor Comprehensive learner - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/CPCE https://killexams.com/exam_list/Counselor Killexams : Public schools struggle to fill counselor staffing positions to meet growing youth mental health crisis

Mira Ugwuadu felt anxious and depressed when she returned to her high school in Cobb County, Georgia, last fall after months of remote learning, so she sought help. But her school counselor kept rescheduling their meetings because she had so many students to see.

“I felt helpless and alone,” the 12th grader later said.

Despite an influx of COVID-19 relief money, school districts across the country have struggled to staff up to address students’ mental health needs that have only grown since the pandemic hit.

Among 18 of the country’s largest school districts, 12 started this school year with fewer counselors or psychologists than they had in fall 2019, according to an analysis by Chalkbeat. As a result, many school mental health professionals have caseloads that far exceed recommended limits, according to experts and advocates, and students must wait for urgently needed help.

Some of the extra need for support has been absorbed by social workers — their ranks have grown by nearly 50% since before the pandemic, federal data shows — but they have different clinical training from other mental health professionals and many other duties, including helping families. Districts included in the analysis, which serve a combined 3 million students, started the year with nearly 1,000 unfilled mental health positions.

Hiring challenges are largely to blame, but some school systems have invested relief money in other priorities. The Cobb County district, for one, has not added any new counselors.

“They have so many students that they’re dealing with,” said Mira, 17. “I personally don’t want to blame them. But I also deserve care and support, too.”

A spokesperson for Cobb County Public Schools said school counselor positions are based on a state funding formula, and the district strongly supports more funding.

The Chalkbeat analysis is based on school staffing and vacancy data obtained through open records requests. The 31 largest districts in the U.S. were surveyed, but some did not track or provide data.

Some school systems used federal relief money to add mental health staff, but others did not because they worried about affording them once the aid runs out. Districts have limited time to spend the nearly $190 billion allocated for recovery.

“Here’s this conundrum that we’re in,” said Christy McCoy, the president of the School Social Work Association of America. “It’s like we are trying to put a Band-Aid on something that needs a more comprehensive and integrated approach.”

Many of the schools that have wanted to hire more mental health workers simply cannot find them. School psychologist positions have been particularly hard to fill.

Chicago, for example, added 32 school psychologist positions since fall 2019 but ended up with just one additional psychologist on staff this fall. Dozens of positions couldn’t be filled.

Schools in Hillsborough County, Florida eliminated dozens of unfilled psychologist positions, leaving schools with 33 fewer psychologists this fall than pre-pandemic. Houston schools also cut more than a dozen psychologist roles it couldn’t fill before the pandemic. Instead, the district used the money to pay outside providers and hire psychologist interns.

With their extended training, school psychologists are relied upon to provide intensive one-on-one counseling and help determine whether students are at risk for suicide.

In Maryland, a shortage of psychologists at Montgomery County Public Schools has kept the short-staffed department focused on crisis intervention and providing legally mandated services like special education assessments, said Christina Connolly-Chester, director of psychological services. That has meant they cannot keep up with other, less urgent counseling services.

“If that psychologist has more schools because there are vacancies and they’re not able to spend as much time in their assigned schools, then things like counseling go away,” she said.

The district sought to hire staff to address increased student needs such as anxiety, depression and struggles with conflict management, but still had 30 vacant psychologist positions, a district official said this month.

Even before the pandemic, some schools struggled to find psychologists. New practitioners have not been entering the field fast enough, and others have been switching to telehealth or private practices with higher pay and often better working conditions.

“We can’t afford to pay professionals enough to make it a desirable position,” said Sharon Hoover, a psychologist who co-directs the National Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland.

Counselor staffing has been a challenge for some districts, too, with nine of the large districts down counselors this year, while another nine saw increases.

Where hiring has been toughest, schools have turned to alternatives. In Hawaii, which had 31 vacant counselor positions and 20 vacant psychologist roles at the start of the year, the state has trained educators to spot signs that a student is in distress — an increasingly common practice — and pays a private company to provide tele-mental health services.

It isn’t just hiring challenges that have led to smaller-than-expected staffing increases. Some school systems spent most of their federal aid on more lasting investments, such as technology or building repairs. And many opted not to add new mental health workers at all.

In the Chalkbeat analysis, half of the 18 large districts budgeted for fewer counselor or psychologist positions this school year than they did in fall 2019.

In April, just 4 in 10 districts reported hiring new staffers to address students’ mental health needs, according to a national survey.

“For all the talk about mental health, the real money they’re spending on it is not that high,” said Phyllis Jordan, associate director of FutureEd, a think tank at Georgetown University that tracks school spending. School districts only planned to spend about 2% of the largest round of federal COVID aid on mental health hiring, according to the group’s analysis of more than 5,000 district spending plans.

One bright spot in the school mental health landscape, though, is the increase in social workers.

Montgomery County in Maryland, Gwinnett County in Georgia, and Orange, Broward, and Palm Beach counties in Florida all started the year with dozens more social workers than they had in fall 2019. Chicago added the most — nearly 150 additional social workers — in part due to staffing promises in the latest teachers union contract.

The Chalkbeat analysis echoes national data collected by the White House that show the number of school social workers was up 48% this fall compared with before the pandemic, while the number of school counselors was up a more modest 12% and the count of school psychologists inched up 4%.

In Houston, staffing increases meant nearly every school started this fall with a counselor or social worker.

Newly hired social worker Natalie Rincon is able to meet one-on-one with students who are in crisis and teach other students calming strategies, such as tracing their hand with a finger while breathing.

Still, need often outstrips capacity at Rincon’s school, where many students are refugees or accurate immigrants coping with trauma. She often has to prioritize helping students with urgent issues, leaving less time to check in on others.

“I want to be able to meet with a kindergartner just to talk about how they’re feeling,” Rincon said. “Those are the kind of things that I think slip through the cracks.”

Patrick Wall, Kalyn Belsha, and Annie Ma

Brynn Anderson (AP) and David J. Phillip (AP)

Thu, 08 Dec 2022 21:03:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/newswire/public-schools-struggle-fill-counselor-staffing-positions-meet-growing-youth-mental-health-crisis/
Killexams : School psychologist, counselor hiring lags nationwide even as student mental health needs soar

This story is a partnership with The Associated Press.

Mira Ugwuadu felt anxious and depressed when she returned to her high school in Cobb County, Georgia, last fall after months of remote learning, so she sought help. But her school counselor kept rescheduling their meetings because she had so many students to see.

“I felt helpless and alone,” the 12th grader later said.

Despite an influx of COVID-19 relief money, school districts across the country have struggled to staff up to address students’ mental health needs that have only grown since the pandemic hit. 

Among 18 of the country’s largest school districts, 12 started this school year with fewer counselors or psychologists than they had in fall 2019, according to an analysis by Chalkbeat. As a result, many school mental health professionals have caseloads that far exceed recommended limits, according to experts and advocates, and students must wait for urgently needed help. 

Some of the extra need for support has been absorbed by social workers — their ranks have grown by nearly 50% since before the pandemic, federal data shows — but they have different training from other mental health professionals and many other duties, including helping families. Districts included in the analysis, which serve a combined 3 million students, started the year with nearly 1,000 unfilled mental health positions.

Hiring challenges are largely to blame, but some school systems have invested relief money in other priorities. The Cobb County district, for one, has not added any new counselors.

“They have so many students that they’re dealing with,” said Mira, 17. “I personally don’t want to blame them. But I also deserve care and support, too.”

A spokesperson for Cobb County Public Schools said school counselor positions are based on a state funding formula, and the district strongly supports more funding.

The Chalkbeat analysis is based on school staffing and vacancy data obtained through open records requests. The 31 largest districts in the U.S. were surveyed, but some did not track or provide data. 

Some school systems used federal relief money to add mental health staff, but others did not because they worried about affording them once the aid runs out. Districts have limited time to spend the nearly $190 billion allocated for recovery.

“Here’s this conundrum that we’re in,” said Christy McCoy, the president of the School Social Work Association of America. “It’s like we are trying to put a Band-Aid on something that needs a more comprehensive and integrated approach.” 

Hiring challenges for psychologists, counselors

Many of the schools that have wanted to hire more mental health workers simply can’t find them. School psychologist positions have been particularly hard to fill. 

Chicago, for example, added 32 school psychologist positions since fall 2019 but ended up with just one additional psychologist on staff this fall. Dozens of positions couldn’t be filled. 

Schools in Hillsborough County, Florida eliminated dozens of unfilled psychologist positions, leaving schools with 33 fewer psychologists this fall than pre-pandemic. Houston schools also cut more than a dozen psychologist roles it couldn’t fill before the pandemic. Instead, the district used the money to pay outside providers and hire psychologist interns.

With their extended training, school psychologists are relied upon to provide intensive one-on-one counseling and help determine whether students are at risk for suicide.

In Maryland, a shortage of psychologists at Montgomery County Public Schools has kept the short-staffed department focused on crisis intervention and providing legally mandated services like special education assessments, said Christina Connolly-Chester, director of psychological services. That has meant they cannot keep up with other, less urgent counseling services. 

“If that psychologist has more schools because there are vacancies and they’re not able to spend as much time in their assigned schools, then things like counseling go away,” she said. 

The district sought to hire staff to address increased student needs such as anxiety, depression and struggles with conflict management, but still had 30 vacant psychologist positions, a district official said this month.

Even before the pandemic, some schools struggled to find psychologists. New practitioners have not been entering the field fast enough, and others have been switching to telehealth or private practices with higher pay and often better working conditions.

“We can’t afford to pay professionals enough to make it a desirable position,” said Sharon Hoover, a psychologist who co-directs the National Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland.

Counselor staffing has been a challenge for some districts, too, with nine of the large districts down counselors this year, while another nine saw increases.

Where hiring has been toughest, schools have turned to alternatives. In Hawaii, which had 31 vacant counselor positions and 20 vacant psychologist roles at the start of the year, the state has trained educators to spot signs that a student is in distress — an increasingly common practice — and pays a private company to provide tele-mental health services. 

To help with student counseling, the state also employs about 300 behavioral health certified — a position created before the pandemic partly in response to a longstanding school psychologist shortage, said Annie Kalama, the department official who oversees student support services.

“We’re trying to attack it from every angle,” she said.

It isn’t just hiring challenges that have led to smaller-than-expected staffing increases. Some school systems spent most of their federal aid on more lasting investments, such as technology or building repairs. And many opted not to add new mental health workers at all. 

In the Chalkbeat analysis, half of the 18 large districts budgeted for fewer counselor or psychologist positions this school year than they did in fall 2019.

In April, just 4 in 10 districts reported hiring new staffers to address students’ mental health needs, according to a national survey.

“For all the talk about mental health, the real money they’re spending on it is not that high,” said Phyllis Jordan, associate director of FutureEd, a think tank at Georgetown University that tracks school spending. School districts only planned to spend about 2% of the largest round of federal COVID aid on mental health hiring, according to the group’s analysis of more than 5,000 district spending plans.

Schools have added social workers

One bright spot in the school mental health landscape, though, is the increase in social workers. 

Montgomery County in Maryland, Gwinnett County in Georgia, and Orange, Broward, and Palm Beach counties in Florida all started the year with dozens more social workers than they had in fall 2019. Chicago added the most — nearly 150 additional social workers — in part due to staffing promises in the latest teachers union contract.

The Chalkbeat analysis echoes national data collected by the White House that show the number of school social workers was up 48% this fall compared with before the pandemic, while the number of school counselors was up a more modest 12% and the count of school psychologists inched up 4%.

In Houston, staffing increases meant nearly every school started this fall with a counselor or social worker.

Newly hired social worker Natalie Rincon is able to meet one-on-one with students who are in crisis and teach other students calming strategies, such as tracing their hand with a finger while breathing.

Still, need often outstrips capacity at Rincon’s school, where many students are refugees or accurate immigrants coping with trauma. She often has to prioritize helping students with urgent issues, leaving less time to check in on others.

A young woman poses for a portrait on a school swingset, wearing glasses and a patterned jacket.

Natalie Rincon, a social worker, has seen the benefits of having a fuller mental health team at her Houston elementary school.

“I want to be able to meet with a kindergartner just to talk about how they’re feeling,” Rincon said. “Those are the kind of things that I think slip through the cracks.”

And in some schools, the social worker doesn’t have any backup.

As the sole mental health professional at a charter school in Buffalo, New York, social worker Danielle Dylik provides counseling to more than 40 students most weeks. She also assists with discipline issues and is setting up a food pantry and clothes bank for families.

But as just one person, she knows she can’t help every student who needs it.

“There’s just not enough hours in the school day,” she said.

Patrick Wall is a senior reporter covering national education issues. Contact him at pwall@chalkbeat.org

Kalyn Belsha is a national education reporter based in Chicago. Contact her at kbelsha@chalkbeat.org.

Annie Ma is a reporter for The Associated Press.

Fri, 18 Nov 2022 02:46:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.chalkbeat.org/2022/11/18/23465030/youth-mental-health-crisis-school-staff-psychologist-counselor-social-worker-shortage
Killexams : Op-ed: Academic tutoring might be best gift for your kids this year

Opinion column:

Tutor us, Santa baby.

Don’t bother bringing Californians four lords-a-leaping or eight swans-a-swimming, St. Nick. What we need now are 5.9 million tutors — one for every public school student.

You could fill a giant sack with all the research showing that one-on-one tutoring is students’ best bet for catching up academically after two long, pandemic-disrupted years. In testing last spring, half of California students failed to meet state standards in English. In math, two-thirds of all students fell short. California eighth graders are testing at fifth grade levels in math.

Tutoring is the best gift you could supply kids this Christmas, and not just because it’s been shown to be the best way for students to make rapid advances in achievement. California children, after years of isolation, desperately need the connection to learning that skilled one-on-one tutors — teachers, school staffers, older students with training — can provide with sufficient time, ideally three sessions a week.

Why do you need your intervention, Santa? Because you always deliver, while California, for all adults’ good intentions, struggles to manage programs that serve kids.

Despite accurate increases in school funding, this state fails to get kids high-quality teachers, sufficient counseling, and classes. Despite massive expansion of health programs, California children aren’t that healthy. Despite promises of universal child care and pre-school, parents must scramble to find options for young kids.

Instead of creating one efficient system to solve any of these problems, California ends up placating different interest groups by creating smaller piecemeal programs that don’t really fit together.

The same thing is happening with tutoring.

Instead of focusing on a comprehensive tutoring effort to reach every child, the state has decided to spread educational recovery funds around to smaller and sometimes targeted programs. For example, California sent nearly $5 billion in federal stimulus funds for learning loss to local school districts, with little oversight or accountability. We don’t know how much was spent on tutoring, or how much that tutoring helped students.

A second, more accurate grant, the nearly $8 billion Learning Recovery Emergency Block Grant, is more promising because it has more restrictions. Intensive tutoring is one of the few things school districts can spend this money on, along with literacy intervention, counseling, and additional learning time. But it’s not clear how much money will be devoted to tutoring.

Why not?

There are many reasons. One is that our volatile state budget, in surplus last year, now faces projected shortfalls with recession looming; it’s conceivable that some of that money might be clawed back to fill budget holes. Another is that our school districts, like employers everywhere, report not being able to hire or train enough people to be tutors. Still another: Teachers, exhausted from the pandemic, are leaving the profession, not clamoring to add tutoring duties.

As a result, we are building a piecemeal system of tutoring and academic support.

Some of those pieces are quite useful. The state just put $250 million into hiring literacy coaches in low-income elementary schools over the next five years. The California State Library is providing free online homework assistance for California K-12 students, available through HelpNow, a 24-hour live, real-time platform with qualified tutors answering questions. 

And Gov. Newsom recently launched the College Corps, a California version of AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. Half of its first class of 3,250 California community college and university students are working as tutors and mentors in school districts and after-school programs.

There is no shortage of ideas about expanding tutoring, inside and outside of government, for California to draw upon. The founder of Khan Academy is trying to create an online tutoring marketplace. An MIT professor is pitching a way to use artificial intelligence for tutoring aimed at academic recovery. And at the federal level, there are proposals in Congress to expand AmeriCorps’ national community service network to make tutoring a priority.

But none of these amount to what is needed: dedicated tutors, who can teach one-on-one multiple times a week, win our kids’ trust, and get our students caught up.

Perhaps, in a different state and country, in a different time, a moment like this might be seen as an opportunity to remake public education into a more personalized and effective system.

But that’s not happening. Because in 21st century California, providing what is necessary would take a miracle.

So, it’s up to you Santa. Just how many tutors can you fit in your sleigh?

Joe Mathews writes the Connecting California column for Zócalo Public Square.

Thu, 01 Dec 2022 11:17:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.kcrw.com/news/shows/zocalos-connecting-california/students-education-tutoring-pandemic-joe-mathews
Killexams : Suspending students for absences, tardies compounds learning loss

PHOENIX—Guadalupe Hernandez’s attendance problems started in kindergarten.

The boy, who has two attention disorders and oppositional defiant disorder, often refused to sit still for circle time. He also experienced separation anxiety while away from his grandmother, Frances Yduarte, who raised him. He’d spend his days distracted from lessons, wishing he was home with her.

Guadalupe started asking Yduarte, whom he calls mama, to let him skip school. Frequently, she did. Eventually, school administrators responded to his absences with punishment: Guadalupe said they gave him an in-school suspension, keeping him away from his classmates for an entire day. The next year, in first grade, he said administrators escalated the punishment to an out-of-school suspension, temporarily barring him from school altogether.

To Yduarte and Guadalupe, the discipline didn’t make any sense. She was struggling to get him to class, and now the school was telling her not to bother.

“They should have talked to me,” said Guadalupe, now 13, “instead of just coming to conclusions and straight up suspending me.”

Guadalupe Hernandez, 13, argues being suspended for missing class did little to motivate him to regularly attend school. He says his attendance and grades improved after he received counseling, tutoring and medication to control his multiple behavior disorders. Photo by Isaac Stone Simonelli | AZCIR

Suspending students for missing class — whether it’s because they showed up late, cut midday or were absent from school entirely — is a controversial tactic. At least 11 states fully ban the practice, and six more prohibit out-of-school suspensions to some extent for attendance violations.

That leaves schools in much of the country, including Arizona, free to punish most students for missing learning time by forcing them to miss even more. Yet the scope of that practice is largely hidden: The federal government doesn’t collect detailed data on why schools suspend students, and most states don’t, either.

Arizona collects limited discipline data from its districts. But a first-of-its-kind analysis by the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting and The Hechinger Report has found that attendance-related suspensions are pervasive, in some districts accounting for more than half of all in-school suspensions.

AZCIR and Hechinger obtained, through public records requests, data from 150-plus districts and charter networks that educate about 61 percent of Arizona’s 1.1 million public school students. The majority had suspended students for attendance-related violations, collectively assigning nearly 47,000 suspensions over the past five school years. Of those, 1 in 5 were out-of-school suspensions. Totals for the full public school population are likely much higher, given that almost 250 school systems failed to produce comprehensive data — or any data at all — under Arizona public records law.

Among districts in the AZCIR/Hechinger sample that suspended for attendance, missing class led to 10 percent of all suspensions, resulting in tens of thousands of additional missed days of school. A deeper analysis of 20 districts that provided extensive demographic data revealed Black and Hispanic students frequently received a disproportionate share of these suspensions.

Students may miss class for any number of reasons, including transportation problems, family responsibilities or disengagement from school. Suspending them, experts say, not only fails to remedy these underlying challenges but, as with Guadalupe, can lead to further disengagement and worsen the attendance problems the discipline was meant to address.

Suspensions can also contribute to new problems, such as lower academic performance and higher dropout rates. The consequences can extend beyond high school, researchers have found, with suspensions linked to lower college enrollment rates and increased involvement with the criminal justice system. Nationwide, critics of the punishment cite missed class time as a key problem with it, and the U.S. Department of Education now tracks days lost to out-of-school suspensions.

“If a child is struggling to get to school or class and this is the issue, then removing them from the place that we want them to be is really counterintuitive,” said Anna Warmbrand, director of student relations for Tucson Unified School District, where district policy prohibits out-of-school suspensions for attendance violations alone.

But many districts continue to suspend kids for missing school, not just for dayslong absences but also for showing up a few minutes late to class, the 11-month AZCIR/Hechinger investigation found. In conversations with more than 75 students in two Arizona districts that frequently suspend for attendance violations, kids described how administrators mete out the punishment routinely.

Richie Taylor, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Education, noted that state statute generally allows school boards to set their own rules when it comes to discipline. But after reviewing preliminary AZCIR/Hechinger findings, he suggested it may be time to examine what he called “state policies, or lack thereof, that lead to overly punitive disciplinary actions related to attendance and result in more time spent by students out of the classroom.”

“If the past few years have taught us anything,” Taylor said of the pandemic and its aftermath, “it is that regular in-person learning is critical to a student’s academic success.”

Discipline for attendance-related violations varies widely by district, school

For years, it was a battle getting Guadalupe to his Phoenix elementary school in the Washington Elementary School District. Yduarte said she would wake him up, pull the blankets off him and tell him it was time to go. Sometimes, he’d negotiate: “I’ll go at 10,” or “I’ll go at lunchtime.” Sometimes, he’d plead: “Get me out early, mama — please, please get me out early.” Other times, he’d just lie there in silence.

“That was a daily thing for him,” Yduarte said.

Guadalupe missed so much school that, when he did show up, he couldn’t follow what was happening in class.

“Most of the things that we were learning, I didn’t understand, and I wasn’t getting much help,” Guadalupe said. “I just didn’t feel comfortable coming to school anymore.”

Guadalupe remembers a two-day out-of-school suspension in first grade. It was the first time the school had punished him by forcing him to stay home, he said. He was chastened for a day, returning to school as instructed when his suspension was over. But the effect didn’t last. He didn’t go the following day. The suspension, he said, made him want to go to school even less.

Guadalupe Hernandez, right, watches TV with Frances Yduarte, who raised him, at her home in Glendale, Ariz. Guadalupe says the suspensions he received for missing class in the past made him feel even more disconnected from school. Photo by Isaac Stone Simonelli | AZCIR

The district declined to comment on his case, citing federal student privacy laws, but a spokesperson, Pam Horton, said it generally does not suspend students for attendance violations. Data provided by the district shows that it has, however, issued suspensions for attendance issues — at least 650 over the past four school years.

Under Arizona law, students are considered truant if they miss at least one class period without a valid excuse. The law defines excessive absences as missing 10 percent of school days or more, a level more widely referred to as chronic absenteeism. State statute allows districts to set their own punishments for missing school and suggests a range of consequences for chronically absent students, including failing a subject, failing a grade level, suspension and expulsion.

Districts and charters use a mix of approaches to address absenteeism, the AZCIR/Hechinger investigation found, including warnings, parent conferences, detentions, in-school suspensions and out-of-school suspensions. In a relatively small portion of cases, schools refer kids who are frequently absent to the courts for truancy, which can lead to criminal charges for children or their guardians.

Strategies for combating absenteeism can vary within a single school system. Several administrators contacted for this story said they did not realize how often certain schools in their districts were suspending kids for attendance violations.

Arizona places pressure on schools to reduce chronic absenteeism, evaluating elementary and middle schools in part on the number of their students who miss at least 10 percent of school days. In fact, most states now expect districts to pay attention to this issue, informed by research that says an average of two absences per month can create a tipping point in early literacy, performance on standardized tests and dropout rates. But the AZCIR/Hechinger analysis indicates suspensions in many Arizona districts are compounding an absenteeism problem already exacerbated by the pandemic.

Colorado River Union High School District, near the Nevada border, is among the most punitive districts in the AZCIR/Hechinger sample. It serves fewer than 2,000 students but assigned 351 out-of-school suspensions for attendance-related violations over the past five school years. Most of those suspensions happened at Mohave High School.

Principal Gina Covert said the school has a homeless liaison and a psychologist intended to help students overcome barriers to their attendance, but “there are times when consequences have to happen.”

For the first few weeks of this school year, teachers and administrators were relatively lenient, she said, explaining school rules and guiding students who tested those rules back to class. But by late August, Covert said students without a hall pass received a suspension.

“We’ve been training them now for five weeks,” she said at the time. “They need to be where they’re supposed to be.”

Lucky Arvizo is principal of Somerton High School in the Yuma Union High School District, which serves about 11,000 students and handed out 535 attendance-related out-of-school suspensions over the past five years — one of only three districts issuing more of these suspensions than Covert’s. He described a similar policy of gradually escalating discipline and said he considers suspension in response to poor attendance a last resort.

“But when it does happen, the student thinks, ‘Oh, wow, this is more serious than I thought.’ And that behavior changes,” Arvizo said.

Several current and former school officials disagree. During a suspension, they said, students don’t get support to change bad habits, and they don’t get help with barriers that might keep them from school, such as family and work commitments. Suspensions similarly fail to address school-based issues that can contribute to poor attendance, like bullying or academic troubles.

Limited research exists on whether suspensions are an effective strategy for discouraging absenteeism. One study found that while kids who received out-of-school suspensions for truancy were less likely to be truant again in the short term, repeated use of suspensions actually led to greater absenteeism in the long term.

That absenteeism can have lasting consequences: Missing just two days of school per month has been tied to lower memorizing proficiency in third grade, lower math scores in middle school and higher dropout rates in high school. Meanwhile, the growing body of research on suspensions more generally shows they harm kids and their learning, leading to growing calls to address misbehavior in ways that keep students in class.

Terri Martinez-McGraw, executive director of the National Center for School Engagement, says suspensions are counterproductive. Her group counsels schools to address absenteeism with problem-solving, working with students to identify exactly why they’re missing school and addressing those root causes.

“Our kids have the answer,” Martinez-McGraw said. “If we sit down and talk to them about their behavior, they’re going to let us know the whys and the whats and how we can get that behavior changed.”

In Guadalupe’s case, suspensions added to his time out of class, while doing nothing to change his academic trajectory.

Yduarte said Guadalupe was consistently failing all his classes. He struggled to read and do grade-level math and couldn’t follow what was being taught in science and social studies.

Yduarte said she tried to convince the school to supply him extra services to help him control his behavior and catch up on his work, but the help was intermittent. When he was given more one-on-one attention, he would go to school more willingly, she said. But when he didn’t get that extra help, he’d go back to begging to stay home.

“What they never understood,” Yduarte said, “was because he hadn’t been in school for so long, he didn’t know what was going on at school, he didn’t know his work, and there was nobody there to help him with it.”

Schools urged to remove attendance barriers—not create new ones

Dysart Unified School District serves about 23,000 students across 140 square miles of Maricopa County, its sprawling campuses dotting the dry valley terrain. The district handed out nearly 12,000 attendance-related suspensions over the five-year period reviewed.

During the 2018-19 school year, the last full year before COVID, Dysart suspended students nearly 3,500 times for being late to class. During the roller coaster of 2020-21, school leaders suspended students more than 1,000 times for being late, according to the district’s data. In total, over the past five years, nearly 60 percent of all in-school suspensions in the district were for attendance violations. (This includes single-period or half-day suspensions.)

Dysart Unified School District serves about 23,000 students across 140 square miles of dry desert terrain. It assigned nearly 12,000 attendance-related suspensions over the past five school years. Photo by Tara García Mathewson | The Hechinger Report

It’s not hard to find Dysart High School students who’ve been suspended for being late. Most students have six classes each day, 180 days of the year, providing more than 1,000 chances to rack up a tardy. School policy indicates six tardies lead to a one-day in-school suspension. Three more lead to a three-day stint in the suspension room, where students are expected to stay quiet. They can work on assignments or, as one sophomore put it, stare at a wall.

Five Dysart students who had been suspended for being late to class said various circumstances contributed to their tardiness. One said she was suspended when her school bus arrived late, while two others were suspended after relatives dropped them off after the bell. Two more students said they overslept or lost track of time. A sixth said her friend was suspended for missing class while in the school bathroom dealing with her menstrual cycle. She had blood on her clothes and spent unexcused time cleaning herself up.

District officials said they could not comment on individual suspensions. But Renee Ryon, Dysart Unified’s director of communications, said students would only get suspended after a late bus arrival if they didn’t “promptly report to class.” And she defended the district’s suspension policy for repeated tardies.

“While it may seem odd to take students out of class in response to attendance issues, it is important to remember that it is also a safety issue if students aren’t where they should be during class time,” Ryon said. “We take safety very seriously and must be able to account for each student throughout the day.”

Still, advocates say schools should address the root causes of absenteeism rather than resort to disciplinary action. Hedy Chang, founder and executive director of the national nonprofit Attendance Works, urges schools to identify the barriers keeping students from class — including transportation issues, family instability, bullying, mental health problems and academic struggles — and offer solutions like bus passes, counseling, tutoring and other support to reengage students and keep them in class.

Students simply can’t benefit from instruction and opportunities in the classroom, Chang said, if they’re not there.

DaMarion Green, 16, said he has gotten approximately four in-school suspensions for arriving late to first period, all at Dysart High School, where he is a sophomore. Each time, he slipped behind in his classes without access to his teachers.

“That’s the whole point of a teacher, is to supply you help,” DaMarion said. In the suspension room, he said, he couldn’t ask any questions. “They just want you to be quiet.”

Some school leaders embracing ‘shift in mindset’

Though Arizona largely leaves disciplinary policy decisions to districts and charters, state legislators can, and do, intervene when they want to ban or limit certain punitive practices.

By the start of the 2021-22 school year, for example, lawmakers had stepped in to stop schools from suspending kids in kindergarten through fourth grade for all but the most serious disciplinary infractions — a move that should have indirectly eliminated attendance-related suspensions for the state’s youngest learners. But the law did not establish a state-level process for enforcement.

Indeed, the AZCIR/Hechinger analysis suggests some districts may be flouting it. Phoenix-based Wilson Elementary School District, for instance, assigned eight out-of-school suspensions and 26 in-school suspensions to its youngest students for missing school between September and December of 2021, according to its own records. (Only a handful of districts provided discipline data to AZCIR and The Hechinger Report in a format that tracked student grade level along with suspension type.)

Superintendent Ernest Rose, who moved to Wilson from Tucson Unified in 2021, doesn’t defend the suspensions. After noticing an overreliance on suspensions in general, he said, he introduced a new code of conduct in January that discourages suspending kids for attendance violations, among other changes.

“It doesn’t make sense to punish someone for attendance by sending them home,” Rose said, adding that the change required a shift in mindset among district staff.

Darrell Hill, policy director for the ACLU of Arizona, said advocates previously pushed for legislation explicitly targeting schools’ ability to suspend students because of excessive or unexcused absences, but conversations stalled. And while he still supports a law to end the practice, he also wants policymakers to supply educators and administrators more resources to help struggling students.

“Schools haven’t been equipped to deal with these issues in any way but a suspension or expulsion,” Hill said. “So … they rely on exclusionary discipline even when it is clearly detrimental to the students they’re serving.”

Guadalupe Hernandez, right, visits with Frances Yduarte, who raised him, at her home in Glendale, Ariz. Guadalupe only recently got back on track academically after struggling with attendance issues for years, he says. Photo by Isaac Stone Simonelli | AZCIR

In Guadalupe’s case, his attendance issues led to even more extreme consequences. While Yduarte said she remains his legal guardian, Guadalupe now lives with a foster family southeast of Phoenix. He was placed in foster care in large part due to his many absences from school while living with Yduarte. But the move came with a bevy of supports.

At his new public school in Chandler, Guadalupe said he gets counseling and after-school tutoring, and his doctors have finally settled on medication that helps him control his behavior disorders. He qualified for special education services shortly before moving, and the new supports have contributed to a turnaround: Guadalupe said he feels caught up academically, and he goes to school consistently.

Both Guadalupe and Yduarte hope the boy will soon be able to move back home.

Yduarte has a nagging worry that if he ends up in another school that responds to absenteeism with suspensions rather than supports, he’ll get off track again. But Guadalupe assures her he’ll be able to maintain his momentum at any school.

Yduarte remains cautious: “You’ll try.”

The Hechinger Report’s Fazil Khan contributed data analysis to this report.

Tue, 06 Dec 2022 05:22:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.azmirror.com/2022/12/06/suspending-students-for-absences-tardies-compounds-learning-loss/
Killexams : When the punishment is the same as the crime: Suspended for missing class

This story about suspensions for truancy was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education, and the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit newsroom dedicated to statewide, data-driven investigative reporting. Sign up for the Hechinger newsletter and the AZCIR newsletter.

Reading Time: 12 minutes

PHOENIX — Guadalupe Hernandez’s attendance problems started in kindergarten. 

The boy, who has two attention disorders and oppositional defiant disorder, often refused to sit still for circle time. He also experienced separation anxiety while away from his grandmother, Frances Yduarte, who raised him. He’d spend his days distracted from lessons, wishing he was home with her.

Guadalupe started asking Yduarte, whom he calls mama, to let him skip school. Frequently, she did. Eventually, school administrators responded to his absences with punishment: Guadalupe said they gave him an in-school suspension, keeping him away from his classmates for an entire day. The next year, in first grade, he said administrators escalated the punishment to an out-of-school suspension, temporarily barring him from school altogether. 

To Yduarte and Guadalupe, the discipline didn’t make any sense. She was struggling to get him to class, and now the school was telling her not to bother. 

“They should have talked to me,” said Guadalupe, now 13, “instead of just coming to conclusions and straight up suspending me.” 

Suspending students for missing class — whether it’s because they showed up late, cut midday or were absent from school entirely — is a controversial tactic. At least 11 states fully ban the practice, and six more prohibit out-of-school suspensions to some extent for attendance violations. 

That leaves schools in much of the country, including Arizona, free to punish most students for missing learning time by forcing them to miss even more. Yet the scope of that practice is largely hidden: The federal government doesn’t collect detailed data on why schools suspend students, and most states don’t, either. 

Arizona collects limited discipline data from its districts. But a first-of-its-kind analysis by The Hechinger Report and the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting has found that attendance-related suspensions are pervasive, in some districts accounting for more than half of all in-school suspensions.

Hechinger and AZCIR obtained, through public records requests, data from 150-plus districts and charter networks that educate about 61 percent of Arizona’s 1.1 million public school students. The majority had suspended students for attendance-related violations, collectively assigning nearly 47,000 suspensions over the past five school years. Of those, 1 in 5 were out-of-school suspensions. Totals for the full public school population are likely much higher, given that almost 250 school systems failed to produce comprehensive data — or any data at all — under Arizona public records law. 

Among districts in the Hechinger/AZCIR sample that suspended for attendance, missing class led to 10 percent of all suspensions, resulting in tens of thousands of additional missed days of school. A deeper analysis of 20 districts that provided extensive demographic data revealed Black and Hispanic students frequently received a disproportionate share of these suspensions.



Students may miss class for any number of reasons, including transportation problems, family responsibilities or disengagement from school. Suspending them, experts say, not only fails to remedy these underlying challenges but, as with Guadalupe, can lead to further disengagement and worsen the attendance problems the discipline was meant to address. 

Suspensions can also contribute to new problems, such as lower academic performance and higher dropout rates. The consequences can extend beyond high school, researchers have found, with suspensions linked to lower college enrollment rates and increased involvement with the criminal justice system. Nationwide, critics of the punishment cite missed class time as a key problem with it, and the U.S. Department of Education now tracks days lost to out-of-school suspensions.

“If a child is struggling to get to school or class and this is the issue, then removing them from the place that we want them to be is really counterintuitive,” said Anna Warmbrand, director of student relations for Tucson Unified School District, where district policy prohibits out-of-school suspensions for attendance violations alone.

But many districts continue to suspend kids for missing school, not just for dayslong absences but also for showing up a few minutes late to class, the 11-month Hechinger/AZCIR investigation found. In conversations with more than 75 students in two Arizona districts that frequently suspend for attendance violations, kids described how administrators mete out the punishment routinely. 

Richie Taylor, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Education, noted that state statute generally allows school boards to set their own rules when it comes to discipline. But after reviewing preliminary Hechinger/AZCIR findings, he suggested it may be time to examine what he called “state policies, or lack thereof, that lead to overly punitive disciplinary actions related to attendance and result in more time spent by students out of the classroom.”

“If the past few years have taught us anything,” Taylor said of the pandemic and its aftermath, “it is that regular in-person learning is critical to a student’s academic success.”

Guadalupe Hernandez, 13, argues being suspended for missing class did little to motivate him to regularly attend school. He says his attendance and grades improved after he received counseling, tutoring and medication to control his multiple behavior disorders. (Isaac Stone Simonelli / AZCIR)

‘I wasn’t getting much help’

For years, it was a battle getting Guadalupe to his Phoenix elementary school in the Washington Elementary School District. Yduarte said she would wake him up, pull the blankets off him and tell him it was time to go. Sometimes, he’d negotiate: “I’ll go at 10,” or “I’ll go at lunchtime.” Sometimes, he’d plead: “Get me out early, mama — please, please get me out early.” Other times, he’d just lie there in silence. 

“That was a daily thing for him,” Yduarte said. 

Guadalupe missed so much school that, when he did show up, he couldn’t follow what was happening in class. 

“Most of the things that we were learning, I didn’t understand, and I wasn’t getting much help,” Guadalupe said. “I just didn’t feel comfortable coming to school anymore.”

Guadalupe remembers a two-day out-of-school suspension in first grade. It was the first time the school had punished him by forcing him to stay home, he said. He was chastened for a day, returning to school as instructed when his suspension was over. But the effect didn’t last. He didn’t go the following day. The suspension, he said, made him want to go to school even less.

The district declined to comment on his case, citing federal student privacy laws, but a spokesperson, Pam Horton, said it generally does not suspend students for attendance violations. Data provided by the district shows that it has, however, issued suspensions for attendance issues — at least 650 over the past four school years. 

Related: Students can’t learn if they don’t show up at school

Under Arizona law, students are considered truant if they miss at least one class period without a valid excuse. The law defines excessive absences as missing 10 percent of school days or more, a level more widely referred to as chronic absenteeism. State statute allows districts to set their own punishments for missing school and suggests a range of consequences for chronically absent students, including failing a subject, failing a grade level, suspension and expulsion. 

Districts and charters use a mix of approaches to address absenteeism, the Hechinger/AZCIR investigation found, including warnings, parent conferences, detentions, in-school suspensions and out-of-school suspensions. In a relatively small portion of cases, schools refer kids who are frequently absent to the courts for truancy, which can lead to criminal charges for children or their guardians. 

Strategies for combating absenteeism can vary within a single school system. Several administrators contacted for this story said they did not realize how often certain schools in their districts were suspending kids for attendance violations.    

Arizona places pressure on schools to reduce chronic absenteeism, evaluating elementary and middle schools in part on the number of their students who miss at least 10 percent of school days. In fact, most states now expect districts to pay attention to this issue, informed by research that says an average of two absences per month can create a tipping point in early literacy, performance on standardized tests and dropout rates. But the Hechinger/AZCIR analysis indicates suspensions in many Arizona districts are compounding an absenteeism problem already exacerbated by the pandemic

“It doesn’t make sense to punish someone for attendance by sending them home.”

Ernest Rose, superintendent, Wilson Elementary School District

Colorado River Union High School District, near the Nevada border, is among the most punitive districts in the Hechinger/AZCIR sample. It serves fewer than 2,000 students but assigned 351 out-of-school suspensions for attendance-related violations over the past five school years. Most of those suspensions happened at Mohave High School. 

Principal Gina Covert said the school has a homeless liaison and a psychologist intended to help students overcome barriers to their attendance, but “there are times when consequences have to happen.”

For the first few weeks of this school year, teachers and administrators were relatively lenient, she said, explaining school rules and guiding students who tested those rules back to class. But by late August, Covert said students without a hall pass received a suspension. 

“We’ve been training them now for five weeks,” she said at the time. “They need to be where they’re supposed to be.”  

Related: When typical middle school antics mean suspensions, handcuffs or jail

Lucky Arvizo is principal of Somerton High School in the Yuma Union High School District, which serves about 11,000 students and handed out 535 attendance-related out-of-school suspensions over the past five years — one of only three districts issuing more of these suspensions than Covert’s. He described a similar policy of gradually escalating discipline and said he considers suspension in response to poor attendance a last resort.

“But when it does happen, the student thinks, ‘Oh, wow, this is more serious than I thought.’ And that behavior changes,” Arvizo said.

Several current and former school officials disagree. During a suspension, they said, students don’t get support to change bad habits, and they don’t get help with barriers that might keep them from school, such as family and work commitments. Suspensions similarly fail to address school-based issues that can contribute to poor attendance, like bullying or academic troubles. 



Limited research exists on whether suspensions are an effective strategy for discouraging absenteeism. One study found that while kids who received out-of-school suspensions for truancy were less likely to be truant again in the short term, repeated use of suspensions actually led to greater absenteeism in the long term.

That absenteeism can have lasting consequences: Missing just two days of school per month has been tied to lower memorizing proficiency in third grade, lower math scores in middle school and higher dropout rates in high school. Meanwhile, the growing body of research on suspensions more generally shows they harm kids and their learning, leading to growing calls to address misbehavior in ways that keep students in class. 

Terri Martinez-McGraw, executive director of the National Center for School Engagement, says suspensions are counterproductive. Her group counsels schools to address absenteeism with problem-solving, working with students to identify exactly why they’re missing school and addressing those root causes.

“Our kids have the answer,” Martinez-McGraw said. “If we sit down and talk to them about their behavior, they’re going to let us know the whys and the whats and how we can get that behavior changed.”

In Guadalupe’s case, suspensions added to his time out of class, while doing nothing to change his academic trajectory. 

Yduarte said Guadalupe was consistently failing all his classes. He struggled to read and do grade-level math and couldn’t follow what was being taught in science and social studies.   

Yduarte said she tried to convince the school to supply him extra services to help him control his behavior and catch up on his work, but the help was intermittent. When he was given more one-on-one attention, he would go to school more willingly, she said. But when he didn’t get that extra help, he’d go back to begging to stay home. 

“What they never understood,” Yduarte said, “was because he hadn’t been in school for so long, he didn’t know what was going on at school, he didn’t know his work, and there was nobody there to help him with it.”

Dysart High School students describe routine suspensions for getting to school late. While suspended, students spend the day in a room with a teacher’s aide where they have to stay quiet and work alone. (Tara García Mathewson / The Hechinger Report)

Dysart Unified School District serves about 23,000 students across 140 square miles of Maricopa County, its sprawling campuses dotting the dry valley terrain. The district handed out nearly 12,000 attendance-related suspensions over the five-year period reviewed. 

During the 2018-19 school year, the last full year before COVID, Dysart suspended students nearly 3,500 times for being late to class. During the roller coaster of 2020-21, school leaders suspended students more than 1,000 times for being late, according to the district’s data. In total, over the past five years, nearly 60 percent of all in-school suspensions in the district were for attendance violations. (This includes single-period or half-day suspensions.)

It’s not hard to find Dysart High School students who’ve been suspended for being late. Most students have six classes each day, 180 days of the year, providing more than 1,000 chances to rack up a tardy. School policy indicates six tardies lead to a one-day in-school suspension. Three more lead to a three-day stint in the suspension room, where students are expected to stay quiet. They can work on assignments or, as one sophomore put it, stare at a wall. 

Five Dysart students who had been suspended for being late to class said various circumstances contributed to their tardiness. One said she was suspended when her school bus arrived late, while two others were suspended after relatives dropped them off after the bell. Two more students said they overslept or lost track of time. A sixth said her friend was suspended for missing class while in the school bathroom dealing with her menstrual cycle. She had blood on her clothes and spent unexcused time cleaning herself up.

Another student, whose name is being withheld due to privacy concerns, described the school’s suspension policy for tardiness as “stupid.” 

“If you’re late in one class, and it’s repeated,” she said, “I feel like they shouldn’t take your learning away from your other classes, because then you’ll fall behind.”

Dysart Unified School District serves about 23,000 students across 140 square miles of dry desert terrain. It assigned nearly 12,000 attendance-related suspensions over the last five school years. (Tara García Mathewson / The Hechinger Report)

District officials said they could not comment on individual suspensions. But Renee Ryon, Dysart Unified’s director of communications, said students would only get suspended after a late bus arrival if they didn’t “promptly report to class.” And she defended the district’s suspension policy for repeated tardies. 

“While it may seem odd to take students out of class in response to attendance issues, it is important to remember that it is also a safety issue if students aren’t where they should be during class time,” Ryon said. “We take safety very seriously and must be able to account for each student throughout the day.”

Still, advocates say schools should address the root causes of absenteeism rather than resort to disciplinary action. Hedy Chang, founder and executive director of the national nonprofit Attendance Works, urges schools to identify the barriers keeping students from class — including transportation issues, family instability, bullying, mental health problems and academic struggles — and offer solutions like bus passes, counseling, tutoring and other support to reengage students and keep them in class. 

Students simply can’t benefit from instruction and opportunities in the classroom, Chang said, if they’re not there.

DaMarion Green, 16, said he has gotten approximately four in-school suspensions for arriving late to first period, all at Dysart High School, where he is a sophomore. Each time, he slipped behind in his classes without access to his teachers.

“That’s the whole point of a teacher, is to supply you help,” DaMarion said. In the suspension room, he said, he couldn’t ask any questions. “They just want you to be quiet.”  

Guadalupe Hernandez, right, visits with Frances Yduarte, who raised him, at her home in Glendale, Ariz. Guadalupe says the suspensions he received for missing class in the past made him feel even more disconnected from school. (Isaac Stone Simonelli / AZCIR)

‘Clearly detrimental to the students’

Though Arizona largely leaves disciplinary policy decisions to districts and charters, state legislators can, and do, intervene when they want to ban or limit certain punitive practices.

By the start of the 2021-22 school year, for example, lawmakers had stepped in to stop schools from suspending kids in kindergarten through fourth grade for all but the most serious disciplinary infractions — a move that should have indirectly eliminated attendance-related suspensions for the state’s youngest learners. But the law did not establish a state-level process for enforcement.   

Indeed, the Hechinger/AZCIR analysis suggests some districts may be flouting it. Phoenix-based Wilson Elementary School District, for instance, assigned eight out-of-school suspensions and 26 in-school suspensions to its youngest students for missing school between September and December of 2021, according to its own records. (Only a handful of districts provided discipline data to The Hechinger Report and AZCIR in a format that tracked student grade level along with suspension type.)

Superintendent Ernest Rose, who moved to Wilson from Tucson Unified in 2021, doesn’t defend the suspensions. After noticing an overreliance on suspensions in general, he said, he introduced a new code of conduct in January that discourages suspending kids for attendance violations, among other changes.

“It doesn’t make sense to punish someone for attendance by sending them home,” Rose said, adding that the change required a shift in mindset among district staff.

Related: Why is it so hard to stop suspending kindergartners?

Darrell Hill, policy director for the ACLU of Arizona, said advocates previously pushed for legislation explicitly targeting schools’ ability to suspend students because of excessive or unexcused absences, but conversations stalled. And while he still supports a law to end the practice, he also wants policymakers to supply educators and administrators more resources to help struggling students.

“Schools haven’t been equipped to deal with these issues in any way but a suspension or expulsion,” Hill said. “So … they rely on exclusionary discipline even when it is clearly detrimental to the students they’re serving.”

Guadalupe Hernandez, right, watches television with Frances Yduarte, who raised him, at her home in Glendale, Ariz., in October. Guadalupe only recently got back on track academically after struggling with attendance issues for years, he says. (Isaac Stone Simonelli / AZCIR)

In Guadalupe’s case, his attendance issues led to even more extreme consequences. While Yduarte said she remains his legal guardian, Guadalupe now lives with a foster family southeast of Phoenix. He was placed in foster care in large part due to his many absences from school while living with Yduarte. But the move came with a bevy of supports. 

At his new public school in Chandler, Guadalupe said he gets counseling and after-school tutoring, and his doctors have finally settled on medication that helps him control his behavior disorders. He qualified for special education services shortly before moving, and the new supports have contributed to a turnaround: Guadalupe said he feels caught up academically, and he goes to school consistently. 

Both Guadalupe and Yduarte hope the boy will soon be able to move back home. 

Yduarte has a nagging worry that if he ends up in another school that responds to absenteeism with suspensions rather than supports, he’ll get off track again. But Guadalupe assures her he’ll be able to maintain his momentum at any school. 

Yduarte remains cautious: “You’ll try.”

Fazil Khan contributed data analysis to this report.


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Wed, 07 Dec 2022 20:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://publicintegrity.org/education/when-the-punishment-is-the-same-as-the-crime-suspended-for-missing-class/
Killexams : Former Fairport substitute teacher, camp counselor admits to sharing sexually explicit photos with young kids

FAIRPORT, N.Y. News10NBC is learning more information about the local substitute teacher and summer camp counselor facing child porn charges.

 Investigators said 25-year-old Marc Hoffman chatted online with several kids and shared sexually explicit photos with them.

Hoffman has been released on certain conditions that include a GPS monitor, curfew, and staying away from minors. 

Investigators say there are a lot of moving parts to it, but the biggest one was a teen tipping of the Fairport Central School District.

“As the investigation continued, they determined that there was probable cause to believe that he had engaged in the child pornography crimes,” Assistant US Attorney Kyle Rossi said. 

 Investigators said the tip came from a 17-year-old Snapchat user who told the Fairport Central School District that former substitute teacher Marc Hoffman was asking for sexually explicit photos through social media. 

That teen was not a Fairport student.

Investigators then found Hoffman had multiple conversations with other kids, one as young as 13 years old. They say they found photos on his phone and he admitted to exchanging inappropriate pictures with up to 20 kids.

 “At this point, what the FBI is aware of and they’re continuing to investigate what is actually contained in the complaint, which I believe are somewhere in the area of 10 images or less right now,” Rossi said. 

 Fairport District leaders said Hoffman was fired immediately.

Hoffman is also a former summer camp counselor Perinton. Town leaders are investigating and have contacted the parents of any children who may have attended a camp with him.

 “Children now are growing up in a society that’s drastically different than their parents grew up in,” Rossi said. “The dangers now come in a lot of different forms, and many of them are through screens and unfortunately, things that children do on the internet are not things that can be erased once they are on the internet, and internet safety is a really important topic.”

 Rossi said as of now, they don’t have any reason to believe Hoffman acted inappropriately with Fairport students or kids at camp. 

Wed, 09 Nov 2022 14:26:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.whec.com/top-news/former-fairport-substitute-teacher-camp-counselor-admits-to-sharing-sexually-explicit-photos-with-young-kids/
Killexams : An Oregon School District Pulled Kids Out of a Camp with Nonbinary Counselors

On October 17, a group of sixth graders arrived at Oregon’s Camp Tamarack, located near the town of Sisters, for a three-day stay at outdoor school, a state-funded staple for students. But just a few hours after they showed up, the kids were ushered back onto their buses and taken home. The reason? Some of the camp counselors were nonbinary, and there was a misunderstanding among teachers and camp officials about sleeping arrangements. 

According to reports, some students went to their teachers after learning about the presence of nonbinary counselors. “Sleeping in cabins with and dressing in front of the counselors, was the source of discomfort,” said Stefanie Garber, superintendent of central Oregon’s Culver School District, in an October 18 letter to parents explaining why she called off the outdoor school experience.  

What was omitted from Garber’s letter was a fact about the camp’s rules: students have access to private changing rooms and do not need to change in front of counselors, nor do they shower at the outdoor camp. Camp Tamarack’s executive director, Charlie Anderson, has since clarified that the camp, which is part of an outdoor school science program available to all Oregon 5th and 6th graders, also follows Oregon Department of Education’s nondiscrimination policies, which requires camp counselors’ genders to remain confidential. In 2020, Oregon became one of the first school systems in the U.S. to recognize nonbinary and gender-fluid students.

The students’ concerns filtered from teachers to their principal, and then on to Garber, who was not present at the outing and could not reach camp staff. She decided to remove all students from Camp Tamarack. Camp staff learned what was happening only as students were leaving. Anderson (who declined to speak to Outside) wrote a letter to the Tamarack community which was later shared on social media. In the letter, Anderson said that some students cried and chanted, “Let us stay.”

Garber says her decision to pull the kids from the camp was not due to anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, but rather because she wanted to maintain the trust of parents. Some children, and presumably their parents, she said, seemed to lack information about sleeping arrangements. Since outdoor school is not mandatory, parents can always opt out if they don’t like camp policies. 

“Some of these stories make it sound like we just fell off the turnip truck,” Garber says. Garber acknowledged that the decision to remove the kids may have been interpreted as bigotry, but said that her decision was not discriminatory. 

“It was really this perfect storm of errors that couldn’t be fixed,” Garber says. Culver School District students have been promised a spring camp opportunity, though it won’t be at Tamarack, since the facility is booked out for the year. After Culver pulled its students, another school decided to switch its Tamarack camps to day trips only. 

Still, the decision to pull the children sent ripples through Oregon. In a guest column in the Bend Bulletin, former counselor Kevin Crawford wrote, “[Superintendent] Garber failed as an educator when she pulled those students from camp. She failed to recognize her student’s discomfort as an opportunity to do her job—to educate.” 

Crawford spent seven seasons at Tamarack, and said that when he first heard about the students being sent home, he feared the experience could have been damaging for the counselors. “Suddenly, the students are being pulled out because of this adult discomfort over your identity, the very core of who you are,” he says. “I know camp has [the counselors’] backs 100 percent, but regardless, having the superintendent of a school district take out a class of sixth graders because of you? You would take that so personally. You’d be like ‘Oh, it was me, I’m the problem.’”

In a joint statement released in early November titled ‘Coming Together,’ Anderson and Garber wrote of their desire to “respect the values and identities” of those who participate in outdoor school.

“We view it as a missed opportunity for a meaningful discussion around issues of respect, inclusion, compassion, belonging, and, ultimately, mutual understanding,” the statement said. 

The statement did little to tamp down a wave of online hatred directed at the school after the incident. Vitriolic comments toward trans and nonbinary people appeared on Camp Tamarack’s Facebook, prompting camp officials to shut the page down. 

“I’ve seen a lot of ignorance and a lot of bigotry in response to what happened, “ says Maddie Reitz, a former Camp Tamarack staff member. “It goes along with a wave of transphobia that has been so rampant, especially in the past year or two. Seeing that directed to a place that’s so close to my heart was just really devastating.” 

As outdoor schools work to become more welcoming and safer for vulnerable students, they face spillover from the nation-wide increase in anti-trans political rhetoric and policies, often directed at youth

I think any program, school, or district that is vocally supporting any student from a marginalized identity and community is a political target right now,” says Spirit Brooks, the interim director of Oregon’s Outdoor School for All, the Oregon State University-based program that oversees state-funded outdoor school programs like Camp Tamarack. 

More than 80 percent of Oregon students go to outdoor school, after a 2016 ballot initiative made the state one of the first to include fully-funded outdoor school in its public science curriculum. And while many camps, Tamarack included, have worked hard to become a welcoming place for all students, Brooks’ research has found that trans and nonbinary students have less positive outdoor school experiences than their peers.

It isn’t easy to be a gender-nonconforming kid. According to a 2022 UCLA report, youth ages 13 to 17 are significantly more likely than adults to identity as transgender, and that number is increasing. Suicide rates are exceptionally high in transgender youth compared to the rest of the population, and studies show that gender affirmation at school—like allowing students to use the bathroom that suits them—reduces that risk. At Camp Tamarack, trans and nonbinary students have the right to self-assign to the cabin that most aligns with their gender, and to use private restroom facilities. Some other outdoor camps have all-gender cabins. The inclusion and accessibility practices at Tamarack are consistent with nationwide guidelines from the American Camp Association.

The central Oregon LGBTQ+ community and Camp Tamarack alums have rallied around the camp. “It has been so beautiful to see the amount of support and love directed towards Tamarack and their programming,” says Reitz, whose outdoor education career began as a high school counselor. As a freshman, she fell in love with teaching kids about local ecology on the camp’s pine-covered lake shore, and was excited to learn leadership skills and help build an accepting community. Reitz (who uses she/they pronouns) worked at Tamarack for five years, and is now staff at a similar outdoor school in California.

Even as outdoor schools and districts continue to navigate a difficult national political environment for supporting gender-diverse youth, Brooks is confident that Outdoor School for All’s goals and values won’t change. Even though there’s a vocal minority, we’re going to continue to support equitable, culturally responsive outdoor school programs for Oregon youth,” she says. “When we have programs that have high school leaders who identify as trans, nonbinary, or gender expansive, that’s a really positive thing.”

Fri, 02 Dec 2022 14:19:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/environment/camp-tamarack-oregon-nonbinary-counselors/
Killexams : California's Christmas list should include a sleigh full of tutors for public schools Tommy Andrade helps his son, Thaddeus, 8, with his tutoring homework at their home in Seattle. Andrade uses part of his monthly guaranteed income funds to pay for his son's tutoring. © Katie G. Cotterill / The Hechinger Report Tommy Andrade helps his son, Thaddeus, 8, with his tutoring homework at their home in Seattle. Andrade uses part of his monthly guaranteed income funds to pay for his son's tutoring.

Tutor us, Santa baby.

Don’t bother bringing Californians four lords-a-leaping or eight swans-a-swimming, St. Nick. What we need now are 5.9 million tutors — one for every public school student.

You could fill a giant sack with all the research showing that one-on-one tutoring is students’ best bet for catching up academically after two long, pandemic-disrupted years. In testing last spring, half of California students failed to meet state standards in English. In math, two-thirds of all students fell short. California eighth graders are testing at  fifth-grade levels in math.

Tutoring is the best gift you could supply kids this Christmas, and not just because it’s been shown to be the best way for students to make rapid advances in achievement. California children, after years of isolation, desperately need the connection to learning that skilled one-on-one tutors — teachers, school staffers, older students with training — can provide with sufficient time, ideally three sessions a week.

Why do you need your intervention, Santa? Because you always deliver, while California, for all adults’ good intentions, struggle to manage programs that serve kids. Despite increases in school funding, this state fails to provide high-quality teachers, sufficient counseling, and classes. Despite massive expansion of health programs, California children aren’t that healthy.

Instead of creating one efficient system to solve any of these problems, California prefers to placate interest groups by creating smaller piecemeal programs that don’t really fit together.

This is what is happening with tutoring.

Instead of building a comprehensive tutoring program for every children, the state is spreading educational recovery funds around the state to smaller programs. In the pandemic, California sent nearly $5 billion in federal stimulus funds for learning loss to local school districts, with so little oversight that we don’t know how much was spent on tutoring, or whether that tutoring helped students.

A new $8 billion grant this year is more promising because it’s restricted to intensive tutoring, literacy intervention, counseling, and additional learning time. But it’s still not clear how much tutoring it will produce.

Why not?

One reason is that our volatile state budget, in surplus last year, now faces projected shortfalls with recession looming. Could some money be clawed back to plug budget holes? Another is that our school districts, like employers everywhere, report being unable to hire or train enough people to be tutors.

As a result, we are building a piecemeal system of tutoring and other academic .

Some of those pieces are useful. The state just invested in hiring literacy coaches in low-income elementary schools. The California State Library is providing free online homework assistance for California K-12 students, through HelpNow, a 24-hour live, real-time platform with qualified tutors. Gov. Newsom just launched the College Corps, a California version of AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. Half of its first class of 3,250 California college and university students are working as tutors and mentors in school districts and after-school programs.

There is no shortage of ideas about expanding tutoring, inside and outside of government, for California to draw upon. The founder of Khan Academy is trying to create an online tutoring marketplace. An MIT professor is pitching artificial intelligence for tutoring aimed at academic recovery. And at the federal level, there are proposals in Congress to expand AmeriCorps’ national community service network to make tutoring a priority.

But none of these amount to the universal program we need: dedicated tutors, who can teach one-on-one multiple times weekly and get our students caught up.

Perhaps, in a different state and country, in a different time, a moment like this might be seen as an opportunity to remake public education into a more personalized and effective system. But that’s not happening. Because in 21st century California, providing what is necessary would take a miracle.

So, it’s up to you Santa. Just how many tutors can you fit in your sleigh?

Joe Mathews writes the Connecting California column for Zócalo Public Square.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: California's Christmas list should include a sleigh full of tutors for public schools

Thu, 01 Dec 2022 04:14:07 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careersandeducation/californias-christmas-list-should-include-a-sleigh-full-of-tutors-for-public-schools/ar-AA14N8j0
Killexams : Ball Brothers Foundation donates $5 million across 39 projects tackling community needs

MUNCIE, Ind. − Ball Brothers Foundation has approved over $5 million in funding for 39 projects during its second round of grantmaking in 2022. Many grants focused on funding to Excellerate school counseling programs and expand outdoor learning throughout schools in Muncie.

The foundation’s final round of 2022 grants also includes funding to community organizations focused on arts and culture, education, health, human services, and public society benefit, according to a Foundation press release.

During its fall grant round, Ball Brothers Foundation awarded funding to educational organizations including:

  • Project Leadership: $15,000 to support continuation of the Delaware County Comprehensive Counseling Coalition.

  • Burris Laboratory School (via Ball State University): $200,000 for K-12 education improvement and innovation.

  • Muncie Community Schools: $450,000 for support of pre-K-12 education improvements and innovations.

During the past several years, schools across the nation have faced the challenge of educating students amid a global pandemic. While the vast majority of students and teachers have tra nsitioned back into the classroom, the impacts of the pandemic on students, teachers, and society are becoming increasingly apparent. Learning loss, isolation, and other factors have harmed students and their educational trajectories.

Ball Brothers Foundation believes counseling departments play a significant role in helping students face additional social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Through the generosity of Lilly Endowment and the support of other local funders, schools across Delaware County have significantly strengthened their school counseling departments over the past several years, even in the midst of the pandemic. Thanks to Project Leadership, a local nonprofit organization, school counselors from across Delaware County have regularly convened to share best practices, support one another, learn about local industry partners’ workforce needs, and explore partnership opportunities.

To ensure the momentum spurred by Lilly Endowment’s Comprehensive Counseling funding can be maintained, Ball Brothers Foundation awarded funding to both Burris Laboratory School and Muncie Community Schools for a variety of needs, including further bolstering counseling departments and career/technical training. The board of directors also awarded a grant to Project Leadership to continue hosting in-person convenings for local school counselors. According to the Foundation, other public schools across Delaware County have been invited to apply for grants to continue Comprehensive Counseling efforts through a separate grants program.

“Ball Brothers Foundation continues to be committed to strengthening public school education in the heart of Muncie’s central city,” said Jud Fisher, President and CEO. “We recognize that both Burris Laboratory School and Muncie Community Schools play a pivotal role in K-12 education innovation, not only locally but also a state and national level too.”

Burris Laboratory School is one of approximately 100 laboratory schools across the world that are associated with colleges and universities. Laboratory schools have a commitment to developing new educational models, incubating new ideas, and providing a space for pre-service teachers to receive training. Burris’ innovative environment, diverse student body, and small-school atmosphere make it an attractive option for local families and help Muncie attract and retain local talent

Ball State University’s partnership with Muncie Community Schools, the first of its kind in the nation, is transforming the district into a national model for innovative, holistic education, The Foundation said in its press release,

In addition to funds to bolster counseling and career/technical training services at both Burris and MCS, grants to the two school systems will also support a range of needs including enhancing extracurricular and sports programs, teacher training, new course development, technology upgrades, and minor facility improvements.

Utilizing these grants, both school systems will also expand outdoor learning opportunities for students. Research indicates that playing and learning in nature improves academic performance and directly impacts both physical and mental health. Outdoor learning also promotes perseverance, problem-solving, critical thinking, leadership, teamwork, and resilience—all skills which are vital for students to further develop.

“The support of these grants builds on the foundation’s and the Ball family’s long-held interests in nature and education,” said Fisher. “In the wake of the pandemic, we’re hopeful that this combination of innovation inside classrooms, bolstering of school counseling resources, and expansion of outdoor learning opportunities can make a difference in the lives of students and teachers.”

The foundation’s final round of 2022 grants also include funding to community organizations focused on arts and culture, education, health, human services, and public society benefit:

Arts, Culture, & Humanities

  • Conner Prairie Museums, Inc: $30,000 for Prairie Pathways Capital Campaign to renovate the current Welcome Center and create a transformational Outdoor Nature Experience.

  • Cornerstone Center for the Arts, Inc: $100,000 for general operating support in 2023.

  • Minnetrista Museums & Gardens: $2.775 million for operations and capital support in 2023.

  • Muncie Arts and Culture Council: $45,000 for operations and building stabilization.

  • Orchestra Indiana: $40,000 for operations and capacity building in 2023.

Education

  • Ball State University: $10,000 for the Education Support Hub website which provides information for educators, parents, students, and community members in Delaware County.

  • Ball State University: $60,000 to support the family/school/community coordinator position at Longfellow Elementary School.

  • ecoREHAB: $85,000 to assist with residential rehabilitation in the McKinley neighborhood.

  • Huffer Memorial Children’s, Inc: $40,000 for the purchase of a van.

  • Independent Colleges of Indiana: $100,000 for the Ball Venture Fund, a competitive grant program that offers seed funding for innovative projects at private colleges and universities across Indiana.

  • Indiana University Health Foundation: $50,000 to upgrade virtual learning equipment and lab simulators for Ball Memorial physicians-in-training.

  • Ivy Tech Foundation: $30,000 to fund First Aid CPR/AED certification courses for healthcare workers and community members.

  • Muncie BY5: $50,000 to support general operations in 2023.

  • Muncie Children’s Museum, Inc: $25,000 to build staff capacity for educational programs and exhibits.

  • Purdue University: $25,000 for collaborative programming to strengthen the local STEM Education to workforce pipeline.

  • TeenWorks: $50,000 to support teen and worksite supervisor wages during TeenWorks’ 2023 Summer Program.

  • Telamon Corporation (DBA Transition Resources Corporation): $50,000 to replace exterior doors at the TRC Muncie Head Start Center.

  • The Arc of Indiana Foundation: $50,000 for operating support of the Erskine Green Training Institute.

Health

  • Ball State University: $50,000 to support and expand community outreach initiatives of the Healthy Lifestyle Center.

  • Indiana University School of Medicine – Muncie: $50,000 to support the development of programming for the MD Bachelors program, expansion of the health promotion and disease prevention scholarly concentration, and medical student housing enhancement at the Village Promenade Learning Laboratory.

  • Meridian Health Services: $30,000 to increase Mental Health First Aid Training for physicians-in-training and new mid-level providers.

  • Open Door Health Services: $30,000 to expand obstetrics training for physicians-in-training.

Human Services

  • 8twelve Coalition: $45,000 for general operations and support of the Small Sparks grant program which provides residents with an opportunity to carry out projects they have identified to benefit their neighborhood.

  • Greater Muncie, IN Habitat for Humanity, Inc: $25,000 for creation of an outdoor space and corner park on Hoyt Avenue.

  • Inside out Community Development Corporation: $40,000 for energy efficient lighting system installation.

  • Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana: $40,000 to fund neighborhood and home delivery food assistance.

  • Urban Light Community Development: $10,000 for general operations support in 2023.

Public Society Benefit

  • Delaware County Emergency Communications Center: $75,000 for an Emergency Mobile Dispatching unit for on-site incident command.

  • East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, Inc: $80,000 for operations and support of marketing, collaborative activities, and initiatives of the Partnership.

  • East Central Indiana Regional Planning District: $60,000 to support staffing for the new Judicial Users Manufacturing Partnership Program.

  • Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites: $10,000 to support development and programming for the new “Emancipation and Struggle for Citizenship Lincoln Collection Exhibit.”

  • Muncie Action Plan: $10,000 to support operations for 2022-2023.

  • Muncie Innovation Connector, Inc: $50,000 in operational support for 2023.

  • Muncie Land Bank, Inc: $45,000 to support buildup of inventory for neighborhood revitalization on Muncie’s south side.

  • NonproFIT Support Network: $55,000 for operations and programming support.

  • Ross Community Center: $100,000 for the completion of the third ballfield and walking trail surrounding the sports complex.

The foundation also regularly accepts applications for Rapid Grants of up to $5,000 from February through November of each year. For more information on Ball Brothers Foundation grants, visit ballfdn.org/grants.

The Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. In 2022, the foundation will pay out $10 million in grants to support arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services, and public affairs. The Muncie-based private foundation gives priority to projects and programs that Excellerate the quality of life in the foundation’s home city, county, and state.

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Ball Bros. Foundation provides $5 million in gifts to aid community

Mon, 28 Nov 2022 22:56:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://news.yahoo.com/ball-brothers-foundation-donates-5-125610934.html
Killexams : The Only Thing That Can Stop Us is Stigma If each of us commits to making positive changes in our families and communities, we can help end HIV stigma and work to stop HIV together. © Provided by INTO If each of us commits to making positive changes in our families and communities, we can help end HIV stigma and work to stop HIV together.

HIV doesn’t stop me from playing rugby.

In the last 40 years, HIV treatment has advanced considerably, to the point where someone living with HIV and is on effective treatment Cannot Pass It On. This means their viral load is undetectable and therefore untransmittable, in other words, U=U.

In March 2004, I was diagnosed with HIV. When first informed of my diagnosis, I was in shock, dismay, and in a state of disbelief as to what sort of future I would have, if any. At the time of my diagnosis, my understanding of HIV/AIDS was limited; I thought I would be dead soon. As someone who was a teenager in the 1980s, I knew of the devastation that HIV/AIDS caused to a person, and the stigma it carried towards for gay men. 

I became angry at myself upon learning my diagnosis. In the days and weeks following, I sank into a deep state of depression, as all I knew about HIV was that it was a death sentence. Substances soon entered my life. 

For four years after my diagnosis, I lived with this big secret. I come from a family of South Asian/Indian origin, and I didn’t want to tell them as I didn’t know how they would react. When I did tell them in 2008, some of my fears came true. They were frightened and extremely sad as they had the same concerns as me – they thought I would die. However, through keeping fit and my adherence to treatment, I helped them to understand that I was going to be ok. 

Related: Grind Culture Isn’t Necessary on Broadway or in HIV Care

In the same month I was diagnosed, I started to play rugby with the Chicago Dragons RFC. Thanks to rugby and my team, it helped me through the dark times; my Tuesday and Thursday evening practices, and Saturday afternoon match commitments to my team kept me from engaging in acts of harm to myself. Rugby is what kept my depression and burgeoning substance abuse at bay. I can confidently say that my commitment to my team and to rugby kept me out of the morgue. 

I began counseling and attending peer support meetings in 2009. In 2010, I began working in the field of disability rights. It was there that I began to destigmatize and accept my sexual identity as well as my HIV status. These three factors are key reasons why I am a professional counselor today.

One of the reasons why I am telling my story is to challenge the stigma and myths still surrounding HIV. Sharing the facts about the virus in 2022 is crucial for achieving that including that people living with HIV and on effective treatment can’t pass it on. No ifs, no buts. And no judgments about one’s sex life.

So does HIV stop me or anyone playing from rugby? Like Jesse Ventura’s character said in the movie Predator, “I ain’t got time to let HIV stop me.” Well, okay, that’s not exactly what he said, but you get the point. 

HIV stigma, as towards all disabilities, is pervasive and insidious, and is based in fear and ignorance. The moral judgment that accompanies a diagnosis must be opposed. If we believe that well-adjusted people don’t yearn to complicate their lives, it naturally follows that we must support all people with disabilities with compassion and solidarity.

We must also recognize that the effects of long-term HIV are real, and that people living with HIV will need support to counter those effects. Ultimately, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that people with HIV acquire and keep the supports they need. 

The rugby community can play a vital role in combating HIV Stigma. We saw this when the community rallied around Welsh rugby great Gareth Thomas when he came out as living with HIV. 

You might be wondering how you can address an issue as complex as HIV stigma. There are many small things you can do that will make a big difference. You can start by ensuring your clubs are a safe place for anyone regardless of identity or experience. Ensure that your club has an active and comprehensive anti-discrimination, continuous education, and grievance mitigation policy. Furthermore, ensure all new members are oriented to this.

Here are some other ideas for standing up to stigma: 

  • Get the facts. Read the People First Charter on HIV language.
  • Check out the work your local HIV charity is doing on HIV and combating stigma 
  • Get involved. supply your time to HIV-related efforts. 
  • Make a pledge to help stop HIV stigma 

If each of us commits to making positive changes in our families and communities, we can help end HIV stigma and work to stop HIV together. 

On this World AIDS Day, I wish that all of us will realize that HIV has changed. Tell everyone. And please show your support by sharing the news that someone living with HIV Cannot Pass It On. We can’t tackle stigma and create a better world without you.

Bhuttu Mathews (he/him/his) is a rugby player, counselor, and the Chair of International Gay Rugby.

Wed, 30 Nov 2022 23:29:18 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-only-thing-that-can-stop-us-is-stigma/ar-AA14MBLu
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