Violence and threats at Connecticut schools prompt push for more resources for students

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Threats of violence and violent acts have plagued school districts across Connecticut.

There were two incidents in Hamden this week, one of which closed Hamden High School Friday.

There’s now a push for more to be done to not only prevent this from happening but to also get students the resources they need.

“Working together, we’ve solved many, many issues in the past, and this is a huge one,” Fran Rabinowitz, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), said.

Rabinowitz said she’s been hearing more about this these past few weeks. She pointed to the impact the pandemic has had on children, especially when it comes to their mental health.

“Our students have dealt with deaths in the family, job losses, and they’ve dealt with, especially our adolescents, they’ve dealt with not having their friends nearby that they can talk with and interact with,” Rabinowitz said.

She’s among those pushing for more to be done and for there to be even more resources available to these students in the communities they live in.

“Districts are spending a significant portion of their funding from the federal government on mental health services for kids: more social workers, psychologists,” Rabinowitz said. “Frankly, we can’t do it alone.”

Dr. Melissa Santos, division head of Pediatric Psychology for Connecticut Children’s, said early intervention is key if you believe your child is struggling.

“If you are concerned about them, reach out to your pediatrician, your clergy, your religious person, whoever it is in your world you trust,” Santos said.

She said there are things you can do at home, such as modeling healthy behavior and opening the lines of communication, that can make a big impact.

“Oftentimes, we hear, ‘I just want to tell you what’s happening and not be told I’m wrong,” Santos said. “I just want to be heard in this matter.”

As far as the incident at Hamden High School, school officials and police said the incident remains under investigation.

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