Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has put forward legislation that would establish a process to take guns away from people who teachers or school administrators believe to be dangerous.

Under current state law, the press release says, firearms may be removed from a person subject to a temporary order of protection issued by a criminal or family court, but a court can only issue a temporary order of protection in connection with a criminal or family offense proceeding. However, the release says there is no state law that enables a court to issue an order to temporarily seize firearms from a person who is believed to pose a severe threat of harm to himself, herself, or others unless that person has also been accused of a crime or family offense.

Do you support the proposed legislation?

Take the NCNow Survey. Results will be posted June 25

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Public schools are being asked to shoulder many more responsibilities than 10 years ago, says soon-to-retire Canton Central School Superintendent William “Bill” Gregory. “The greatest change in my view is the tremendous increase in expectations placed on our public schools,” said Gregory. Today, schools are often being asked to respond to many students’ needs beyond academics, such as mental health issues and emotional needs. “Beyond the primary educational mission, schools have become increasingly viewed as the panacea for coming to grips with and remedying all societal ills,” Gregory said. “Schools are simply not designed or resourced to do so.”

Do you feel schools should be tasked with mental health and emotional needs of students?

27.5% -- Yes

63.9% -- No

8.6% -- Unsure

Total responses: 302

Comments: 132

Here are your comments:

The needs of autistic children are not being met and their treatment by some teachers is close to being abuse. You may as well as find a solution now because it's going to get worse before better. Shame on some of these districts and you know who I mean. PCS for one. If you can't handle the severe autistic, soon you won't want to be bothered by any. Remember worse before better! Maybe pay teachers more and you might attract the qualified help to deal with these problems.

June 18 8:12 a.m.

Todays parents expect teachers to feed, babysit, and put up with undisciplined kids and then eat crap from parents who are the main cause of underperforming kids.

June 18 8:08 a.m.

Schools are being asked to do more and more without additional funding to support this. In addition, the community mental health services in NNY are not meeting the needs of youth in SLC. We have a tremendous need for additional services.

June 18 7:21 a.m.

Yes, it is the only chance some kids have to get help.

June 18 7:04 a.m.

The mental hospital in Ogdensburg needs to be reopened. There will be plenty of nice folks to fill it. Start with the brain surgeons that huff paint, eat Tide pods and shove condoms up their nose. SMH

June 18 3:34 a.m.

What happened to PARENTS?? Do they have no imput? Just have them for a tax credit or other cash incentives. Sorry but that seems to be the case

June 17 10:44 p.m.

No. Government schools are p--- poor at doing academics as it is. Lets not add in psychology services to boot so they can wreck the crap out of that too. Let's face it, these things should be taken care of by parents or guardians outside of school. Its a sad state of affairs that there are so many crappy parents in this morally and ethically bankrupt society. Parents are too interested in checking their facebook, playing stupid childish video games or cheating on their spouses with the neighbor instead of setting their own house in order and raising their children as roll models and guides. It makes me disgusted to see jackhole parents at sporting and choral events, staring into the blue, soulsucking light of their iphone screen, smiling as they enjoy some private conversation, joke or stupid----ed meme instead of looking for the hopeful eyes of their neglected children as they attempt some success at an endeavor that requires more than two braincells and a WiFi connection. An EMP, pandemic or asteroid impact might be the best panacea for this society and its clownish, bleach blonde, small-handed imbecilic billionaire leader... and his panty waist, vapid, dead-haired liberal opposition.

June 17 10:29 p.m.

I agree with Mr. Gregory. Schools have been saddled with unreasonable expectations without appropriate resources. Many of the issues are society's ills and responsibility from hunger, violent society, break up of families or no family to begin with. Let them teach and expect them to do well. Don't expect them to be the surrogate family, feed those who come to school hungry, console the abused, treat the mentally distraught, the addicted, reform the criminals etc, etc.

June 17 10:13 p.m.

A teacher should feel free to communicate concerns about a student's well-being to the parents, or to someone equipped to help the student if the parents can't do it. But to expect the teacher to be active in assisting the student beyond that is inappropriate.

June 17 2:12 p.m.

I do not believe schools should be tasked with behavioral issues caused by the mental health and emotional needs of students. It takes away from the educational process for all students. Everyone is affected by the disruption of mental health and emotional behaviors that exist on a daily basis. Teachers have not been trained to deal with such issues on top of their already-demanding positions. That's why there are special education teachers. Unfortunately, nobody wins in this picture. Students who once enjoyed coming to school, are either afraid to or just hate it, for fear of what is going to take place next. School, a once safe learning environment for all, has become a place of anxiety and fear for many. There has been a major decline in the education field and for good reason. Do we really need to wonder why schools have become an ongoing target and unsafe environment?

June 17 11:56 a.m.

The USA spends more per child than any nation on earth. NYS teachers are the highest paid in the nation.

June 17 8:23 a.m.

Yes. They take responsibility for our kids, they need to provide all services in that time.

June 17 7:14 a.m.

They're not qualified. They are already overly involved in the illegal practice of medicine without a license, advocating for the current ritalin abuse epidemic.

June 16 7:30 p.m.

Society has changed. The schools have a birdseye view into the lives of students and are often the first ones that recognize there are issues that need to be to be addressed immediately. While they should not be tasked to provide an ongoing service the schools should have more resources at their disposal at least be equipped to deal with issues until a more permanent solution can be figured out.

June 16 4:16 p.m.

I think separate counselors should be hired for availability to students in need of help, including assessments and recommendations for other outside help for a student, if it were to become necessary.

June 16 12:25 p.m.

Parents responsibility....

June 16 8:03 a.m.

So-called "schools" are a pillar of population control. Proper programming demands the mitigation of any such societally generated anomalies. So of course, they'll take on this responsibility. It augments their mission of programming and subjugation.

June 16 6:27 a.m.

Just in the identification of some of these needs.

June 16 6:19 a.m.

I see a need for more staffing of mental health professionals to help troubled young people and then maybe schools would not need armed security.

June 16 5:06 a.m.

There should be a case management person to make referrals, but schools are not equipped to handle the challenges that many of our young people face today.

June 15 9:51 p.m.

If they see something that isn’t quite right, then they should absolutely do something.

June 15 8:46 p.m.

Mr. Gregory has been in school too long, if the kids don't get mental health and emotional support in school they will not get it. Maybe less snow days, bs class trips, and more education and just maybe the kids will get out of school being able to read and write.

June 15 8:33 p.m.

Sometimes the teachers see the students for who they really are. With parents, they feel they can't share things, they don't have that anonymity feeling.

June 15 7:21 p.m.

Yes, with a but. It should not just be the schools, but also the families. We require family meals without phones to distract us. During that time, we talk about the day and what is going on in our children's lives. I have a very good grasp of how my children are feeling at any time because of this. I can nip any issues in the bud. The school should be there only for backup to me and my husband. That being said, not all parents are parents. That is why the schools must be involved because many parents don't want to take the time to be a parent, or they would rather be friends and not place any limitations on their children because they don't want their children to not like them. I am a PARENT, not a friend.

June 15 4:56 p.m.

Absolutely nit!

June 15 2:35 p.m.

Yes. If the schools were OASAS certified, there would be more funding for the school. More money!!

June 15 2:10 p.m.

Absolutely, because some of the children do not have anyone else to look out for them. Someone needs to be prepared to make any necessary referrals. Also, I think every school should have a chemical dependency counselor in the high schools.

June 15 1:47 p.m.

However, the students who need these interventions are now in the general education population of the resources and trained professionals are lacking in our public schools. If schools are going to be tasked with the emotional and mental health needs of the students, funding must be given to the schools to hire the trained professionals needed. Further, since early intervention is the key, programs to reach students before they reach school age need to be implemented more than they are.

June 15 1:23 p.m.

Parents and families should be responsible for mental health issues and emotional needs.

June 15 12:56 p.m.

Yes, of course, teachers are professionally obligated not only to teach their students in academia but also to monitor and report all subjective and objective behaviors to the parents. It also should be reminded that they are mandated by law to report to proper authorities when they feel there is a concern not being addressed for the welfare of their students. These responsibilities are also shared and mandated by law for all hospital staff when a concern is noted. As far as when school administrators i.e. teachers et al. feel "overwhelmed" with this responsibility then that proves their personal symptom that "it's time to retire or change careers." We are long past the era of the "one room school house" teachings and should be noted that teachers, employers and clergy are very significant in a students life for leadership and character qualities especially in todays fractional dysfunctional society .

June 15 12:28 p.m.

Absolutely NOT!! The public school system is now awash in left-wing dogma! "Conform or else." Independent thinking was once encouraged in public schools, no longer!

June 15 11:17 a.m.

Teachers are not mental health professionals and we should not be expecting them to do that. Not even the counselors are fully trained for this kind of support, in my opinion.

June 15 11:11 a.m.

Schools are already doing all they can possibly do with the funding and personnel they have. Without funding to provide professionals such as full-time social workers, school psychologists, etc. we will continue to fight a losing battle. Rural communities such as ours here in the North Country are also ill equipped with not enough counselors/programs outside of school. There are waiting lists for services at a time when we need it most. Mr. Gregory is spot on with his comment! Schools are being expected to fix societal ills with children who are with us less than half a calendar year and only 7 hours each day. When are the folks they are with the other 17 hours a day held accountable? Schools will keep plugging away the best they know how...but more responsibililty needs to be put on folks at home as well. TOGETHER we can win this... it is a two-way street.

June 15 10:27 a.m.

I feel they already do this anyway but there should be staff educated and trained on mental health and able to guide a students and families to resources available outside of school. As a parent of a child with ADHD, in this rural area there is very few places for my child to get adequate services and the school is unable to give me any direction for services in our area, its extremely frustrating!

June 15 9:16 a.m.

Schools are often the most stable institutions in the lives in many children in the North Country. Many children experience serious trauma from an early age as a result of poverty, broken families, loss, and other tragedies. These kids need some kind of mental and emotional support at school... and that doesn't even touch on the topic of maintaining positive mental health and mindsets in all our children, regardless of their background. The obvious caveat is that schools would require a huge hike in resources to provide these services. Funding, time, and training are required to make it work. You can't ask our teachers and schools to take on the roles of parent, counselor, mentor, and disciplinarian all at the same time without any assistance.

June 15 8:31 a.m.

They should stop allowing kids to bully other kids just because they are in one way or another associated with that kids parents and will do nothing to stop the bullying of some kids. So yes they should mainly because they need to do their job instead of getting more money for this and not using it the way they should and getting their board friends to give them raises. Well they'll still do that so it's a lose lose for the bullied kid's.

June 15 3:04 a.m.

Schools should be places of learning and education. Not one stop community centers for food, healthcare, mental health, etc. Not to mention it is simply too much to ask of the staff and faculty to be trained in all these areas and educate the students. They end up being Jacks of all Trades and Masters of None. Which means they do poorly at everything they are being tasked to do. When it should be education only. This is why we need other facilities for these needs with specialized personnel. Like Schools for Education.

June 15 12:42 a.m.

They can do it for what they are paid (TOO MUCH)!

June 14 11:31 p.m.

I think Mr. Gregory is absolutely correct. I believe the major cause is the break down of the family. This is where mental and emotional needs of children should be met. The schools have enough work to do teaching academics.

June 14 8:45 p.m.

Teachers should teach -- anything above and beyond that is on them and should not be required especially if they are not equipped to deal with other issues than education.

June 14 5:50 p.m.

They should be observers. It is the parents job. Don not dump everything on the schools.

June 14 5:42 p.m.

This is question is silly, because regardless of what schools should or shouldn't do, they get students who are not prepared to learn for many reasons. But ask yourself this... who taught you manners and social skills? Was it the school or your parents? And what are you now teaching your kids and what do you expect the school to teach them?

June 14 2:28 p.m.

With lower enrollment than 10 years ago, they could reallocate resources to at least initially assess problems, then refer out to professionals.

June 14 1:49 p.m.

If schools were tasked with mental health and emotional needs of students, where would it stop? Where would the $ come from? And the old joke, put 10 psychologists in a room and what can they agree on? That there are 10 psychologists in the room... maybe.

June 14 11:49 a.m.

Absolutely not!

June 14 11:46 a.m.

The schools are in the prime position to do so but state and federal have to come up with resources including new coriculum and training at the college level teacher programs.

June 14 11:42 a.m.

There should be an added set of professionals to handle these issues, because some kids unfortunately don't get their basic needs met at home such as enough sleep or food -- how are they expected to ever have regular doctors appointments or outside of school counselors if they do not get breakfast or dinner consistently? Mental health is a huge issue in this country, and needs to be addressed as young as possible.

June 14 10:02 a.m.

Schools should focus on education. But since they so spend more time with children than any other entity once they hit school age they should have the knowledge of resources available so they can refer students who need assistance with mental health or emotional needs to those professionals and organizations that specializing in dealing with those issues. We ask too much of our schools now, they are getting away from their primary function, which is to create an educated workforce. If we start adding everything else onto their plate, the education will continue to suffer and the other issues won't be addressed adequately either.

June 14 9:18 a.m.

Yes and no. I think it is important for schools to have the appropriate staff to help children who are showing signs of struggling with emotional problems. Many families in today's world are just not doing what used to be the norm. Drugs, alcoholism, abuse, poverty. Somewhere kids in these situations need a person/place where someone cares. Someone who can red flag these kids and get them in the proper outside help they need.

June 14 7:53 a.m.

Schools are tasked with more expectations because they have taken that on themselves. Schools have stated that they know more than the parents and through experts in various areas that are in the student's life's because they are the school. They abuse this power to keep it through confusion and keep in families in the dark. Regarding the mental health and emotional needs, yes you should take responsibility for a part of that at school to help work with students and to optimize and maximize their education. You are doing a disservice by not including those services and experts in those fields in school issues, because then you do not allow the students to gain the best education they are required by federal law. This superintendent should retire now as he is out of touch.

June 14 7:15 a.m.

Schools are understaffed and the staff are underpaid. Mental health has a place, but not in the schools.

June 13 9:18 p.m.

These services are critical. And they are everyone’s responsibility, thus I have no problem with my tax dollars paying for mental health support services. We have close to nothing available or accessible in our impoverished, under-resourced, rural communities. Students’ mental and emotional needs must be met before they can learn. This is a no-brainer, and it’s unfortunate that a school superintendent is unable to see or understand this.

June 13 7:54 p.m.

While schools and their staff should be aware of the needs of their students, the primary focus needs to be on the education of these students. In recent decades, our society has morphed into a "feel good" place where feelings trump solid logic. Zero tolerance policies among other things have caused our schools to deviate from the course that previously made them so successful. Let's get back to basics!

June 13 6:20 p.m.

No definitely not up to our schools!

June 13 5:03 p.m.

Schools and the teachers in them are already overwhelmed by the demands imposed on them by the state and federal governments. Teachers are not trained to be mental health counselors, nor should they have to be. It is time for many parents (not all) to step up and be a parent, raise their children, provide for them, and train them to be good citizens. Schools cannot, and should not, be expected to be the cure-all for society's problems.

June 13 4:51 p.m.

This however needs support $.

June 13 3:41 p.m.

Unfortunately, this is mostly due to parents now pushing responsibilities to the school staff instead of addressing issues at home. Issues include discipline, responsibility, accountability, respect, proper nutrition, and mental health. I know first-hand a child with mental health issues and the school professionals constantly asks the parents to work with the child at home on reading, occupational therapy, discipline, etc. but the parents do little to nothing in the home environment to play a key role in their child's development. Many parents today feel it is the "schools" job. This is a consequence of our entitlement generation.

June 13 3:27 p.m.

They at least have to take a role in identifying problems and referring students to appropriate helpers. Where else in the community should the children get help?

June 13 2:31 p.m.

Parents need to step up.

June 13 1:49 p.m.

That is what schools wanted all along.

June 13 12:11 p.m.

Schools already have enough responsibilities. The state has changed the expectation for all students to master a tremendous amount of material. The burden of metal health should be the responsibility of the parents. Parents are asking the schools to do more and more such as, sex ed, manners, and character education. Schools should just have to worry about reading, math, social studies, and science and let the parents do the rest.

June 13 11:51 a.m.

Discreetly identifying and referring, yes. Providing a full staff of mental health professionals, no.

June 13 10:35 a.m.

These students are in their care for the better part of the day, and they should be able to provide mental health and emotional assistance where needed. God knows we pay enough in taxes; put them to good use!

June 13 10:28 a.m.

Where do parents come into it?? Parents need to be in the 'know' not leave it to others to raise and support the children. The schools could help as an extension of that, but no! The parents need to be more involved and well, be parents.

June 13 9:57 a.m.

Schools are for education ,and not for resolving other problems not directly related to education. Those other mentioned issues are the responsibility of parents and society in general .

June 13 7:48 a.m.

When did schools become healthcare/mental health facitlities?

June 13 6:45 a.m.

Parents need to be more responsible.

June 13 6:23 a.m.

Yes. At least hire chemical dependency counselors and licensed mental health counselors. This would help at least slow down the issues that are plaguing people right after high school and beyond. Social service issues do not start after high school. Remember, people are usually born and raised into issues. Why not help those buds grow by attending to the growing weeding issues rather than wait until later. Incorporate a class into the middle and high school sections to deal with abnormal psychologies. What are the school psychologists and counselors doing? Perhaps they need extra hands on deck to deal with the issues.

June 13 3:57 a.m.

Not to sound mean, but hell no, so they can shoot up the schools, put them in a school that is equipped to handle those kids., thank you, god bless, our children must be safe,

June 12 10:18 p.m.

Yes, but only to the degree that they are educating and developing well-adjusted citizens -- the emotional stuff is best left to those who deal with raising their children to be good people.

June 12 8:11 p.m.

Parents have stopped parenting! The mental health and emotional needs of children belong squarely within families. Schools should be for education. However, parents have stopped teaching their children to listen, use manners and take care of basic needs. They end up beginning school not knowing how to tie their shoes or button their coats. How do teacher's teach with children who don't still, don't follow instructions and can't take care of their own personal needs?

June 12 7:26 p.m.

No they shouldn't, but teachers should know the signs of emotional distress/mental health issues and refer to the appropriate healthcare providers. Much how a teacher can refer a student to an optometrist if she suspects vision loss.

June 12 5:45 p.m.


June 12 5:15 p.m.

I think for a large number of students, this will be the only place they receive the services. I feel that the schools should get additional money to hire a school social worker and other resources they may need to accomplish this.

June 12 4:47 p.m.

Maybe parents should be tasked with that responsibility.

June 12 3:55 p.m.

I believe as a public school, spending at least 6 hours a day with children, it is important for the educators and administration to be trained to identify certain signs of distress or needs outside of strictly academic needs. The year is 2018, the world continues to change and this requires the public school system to change. Do I think the school should be the sole provider of this support? No. I believe this really is a joint effort on the school system, administrators, teachers and other staff to offer a joint effort to assist. Stating schools aren't resourced for this is not a solution. There is so much more going on in public schools than we know about. Being a child in the year 2018 is very, very different than is was 50 or 60 years ago. It takes a village!

June 12 3:28 p.m.

Childhood development is an essential part of education. Additionally, the mental health help available in this county is very poor and nearly non-existent. Our schools need to be funded and adequately staffed to help nurture our future. Any school who wants to only focus on strictly academics is a total failure to our children and society.

June 12 2:31 p.m.

There is no reason the schools counselors and staff can not help the kids learn coping skills to better channel their emotions.

June 12 2:20 p.m.

Parents should be tasked with the mental health and emotional needs of students. Schools are for the academic education of our children. If your child needs more there are other avenues to take.

June 12 1:41 p.m.

Why don't these kids just live at school? Schools offer breakfast programs 'cause kids come in hungry. Some areas are suggesting a dinner program at 3'oclock. Do the parents refuse to get help from social services, or do they not qualify in the first place and drink/smoke or gamble the grocery money away? People ask if life skills should be offered in school. That's the parent's job! It's also your job to make sure your kid has friends and gets invited to birthday parties. If they're not, find out why. And don't blame it on mothers working. Women have always worked! Don't have more kids than you can handle.

June 12 11:56 a.m.

Between NY State and us local tax payers footing the bill for all schools, get off your ass and help these kids. We pay a lot of money in taxes.

June 12 10:57 a.m.

Every school needs to be a community school. Kudos to Massena for hiring a Community Schools Coordinator. All other districts should do the same.

June 12 10:22 a.m.

Would help to use better discipline toward all the students in general.

June 12 10:19 a.m.

While I have no problem with schools being involved and working with parents, I do have issues with schools being held accountable for responsibilities that belong to parents.

June 12 9:52 a.m.

Students spend a great deal of time in the school settings. Often this is the only other interactions many students get with other adults and children. Teachers, cafeteria aids, school nurses and counselors while not the primary influence on the students emotional, mental and physical health, are in a position to observe, assess and provide guidance for both the student and the parent. Besides the caretakers, school personnel put eyes on the students the most.

June 12 9:51 a.m.

Poor parenting is by far the number one problem in this country today. Most children with mental health problems are a direct result of dysfunctional parenting, and many from generational welfare recipients. Until we address the problem at the source it is only going to continue escalating and consuming valuable resources that could be used elsewhere.

June 12 9:37 a.m.

Not without the added personal and resources for those areas. Parental responsibility is a thing of the past.

June 12 9:29 a.m.

As mandatory reporters, all staff in all schools SHOULD be tasked with identifying mental and emotional problems with students, but NOT with counseling, or in any other way attempting to bring these children into the mainstream. The original mandate for public schooling in the U.S. was for "free and APPROPRIATE education for all children". People seem to have forgotten that and are taking it to mean that even children who should be in special educational forums for their own safety, well-being and true educational needs are being mainstreamed to keep a very vocal minority of parents happy. And here, I mean the parents who refuse to believe there is anything wrong/correctible or not, that prevents their child from learning exactly as other mainstreamed children. Right now, the sheer number of children with mental and emotional issues is staggering, and the fact that they are all mainstreamed into a public school system that is woefully unprepared for them is both to their deficits and that of the other children around them who do not get the attention and time they need to learn.

June 12 7:28 a.m.

To many things are being placed on schools and ultimately the local taxpayer has to foot the bill.If the politicians want all of these programs let them give up some of their bloated stipends and checks to pay for the programs. I personally feel the state puts too many mandates on the local entities, and then they put articles in the paper on how they did this for the people.

June 12 6:46 a.m.

This is what the schools asked for. This has developed over the past 4-5 decades. The schools have inserted themselves into raising our kids more and more. What did they expect? They want to dictate social norms, political opinion, view on morality and ethics, etc. all on the taxpayers dime. Well, here ya go! You asked for it, you got it. The schools have created the hell holes so many of our schools are, now they can deal with the fall out.

June 12 6:36 a.m.

"It takes a village to raise a child." Schools need to be aware of the mental and emotional needs of students, so does everyone else.

June 11 10:38 p.m.

Does anyone even consider the over use of social media might be a part of the emotional problems today's children have? The fact that students, and adults, cannot seem to let go of their phones should show how people are under the control of social media. Start putting your phones down and engage with what's in front of you. Social media can be very destructive and limit true growth.

June 11 10:06 p.m.

I think Bill is absolutely right but I also think we're overthinking it a little. School has always been the de facto social and emotional center of kids' lives and has always assumed the role and responsibility of being so. I'll be interested in reading teachers' thoughts on this -- I hope they will identify themselves as teachers in their responses.

June 11 9:57 p.m.

Send them to SLPC children's unit.

June 11 8:15 p.m.

No. They are doing poorly educating our children, they certainly do not need to be playing psycho doctor, or, "Mister Happy Feel Good." Get back to, and stick with, the "three Rs"! Quit trying to be everything to everyone. It is about time for the parent(s) to act as such and not let someone else shoulder YOUR responsibilty.

June 11 8:10 p.m.

I am "unsure" because the schools still need to be monitors of children with emotional problems and anti-social activities that could indicate the symptoms to being a possible school-shooter! So if I say NO, that goes away and the schools never do anything about them as long as it's not obvious the person has done something illegal. There is no pro-activity; only reactive, and that is completely wrong. Cuomo's upcoming legislation on the subject is a great move in that direction but does NOTHING to eliminate the assault weapons so easily acquired! Schools NEED to remain closely involved where dangerous situations could arise. If I say YES, then the critics go wild with saddling the schools with too much responsibility! How is that in any way fair to our children, who are the ones dying and wondering when it will happen at their schools. The whole thing becomes an adversarial situation among the parties involved. It's stupid and ignorant, in my opinion! This is a situation that cannot be solved with a YES or NO response: There are way too many variables to make it that simple! Do you want school personnel to call the cops when they notice a kid is carrying a dangerous weapon, or do you want to wait until he has commited a crime (Murder)? Do you want to just ignore that gun? Or investigate and pull him out of the school for investigation of intent and where he got the weapon from? This is one of the more oblivious surveys I've seen in a long time here; usually they are much better than this one! THINK!

June 11 6:30 p.m.

School as it currently exists is the crux of the lives of its students. To say the responsibilities of a school should be academic only is to ignore the fact that students build their lives around it, and is only an easy way for administrators to excuse themselves from responsibilities beyond overseeing standardized test scores.

June 11 5:24 p.m.

I think that school should be year round and 4 days a week with longer hours. The reality is that most children are from single parent homes or homes where both parents work. This would allow children at risk to have a safe environment which will aid learning. Having the summer off doesn't benefit learning and is an outdated concept. There is no reason for schools to have to provide mental health but they should be able to refer children that they suspect would benefit from that type of help.

June 11 4:36 p.m.

But, unfortunately... they are.

June 11 2:31 p.m.

Our education system in the US is lagging behind other developed countries. We need to focus on education, not everything but education. The strategic plan for Potsdam is coming out soon and education isn't even a goal. Yes, we need more mental health resources, but our school needs to focus on education not being the parent.

June 11 2:00 p.m.

Time for parents to pay attention to their children.

June 11 1:44 p.m.

Yes. The North Country (like all rural places) has too few mental health providers for the general population at large, especially those trained to help school aged children. Every school violence incident (whether it involves guns or not) is, at its base, a result of our failure as a society to address the mental health needs in our community. By targeting services at the school-aged population, we stand a chance of identifying these issues early enough to be able to treat them before tragedy strikes. The Jefferson-Lewis BOCES has been doing important work in providing in-school mental health and counseling services through telemedicine for some years now. This is a model that works and can be expanded.

June 11 1:34 p.m.

No, and the other children shouldn’t be either!

June 11 1:20 p.m.

Parents need to kick their kids a-- once in a while.

June 11 1:15 p.m.

It's not necessarily fair to put all of this on our educator's, however, being that they are with our children the majority of the day, it is hard to not put some type of expectation/responsibility on them. We need to increase funding for schools to allow them to have more resources available to help and support our children.

June 11 1:10 p.m.

It is an unfortunate fact that many students bring to school many factors which may limit their educational success and overall health. Schools are charged with the daily guardianship of each student. The Latin expression is "in loco parentis" which means "in place of the parent." While it may seem to some an overstep by schools to engage in student issues beyond academics, While they are in school, the school is responsible for the total child. It behooves the school to work with the parents to see that the child has its needs met, and in the case of uncooperative parents, to do so with the assistance of the legal system through PINS (Person In Need of Supervision) petitions or whatever other means is necessary. The costs for doing this may become prohibitive, but what are the costs to our community and greater society of NOT doing it?

June 11 12:59 p.m.

It's time for parents to step up and take care of their children.

June 11 12:55 p.m.

Some students need help, but local taxpayers can't afford to fund it all. the state should pay for counseling or other student mental health needs.

June 11 12:47 p.m.

That should be on the parents to get there children the help they need. That's all we need is higher school taxes.

June 11 12:41 p.m.

To an extent, schools do need to take emotional and mental issues into consideration. Special needs and counseling should be available to those that need it. But to move the "responsibility" from parents to the school is not right but it is happening. Parents these days need to take more responsibility to talk to their children and make sure these issues are taken care of. It's hard when your child has to spend more time out of the day at school then with their parents. But that is what is dictated to us as parents. I still make sure my child has emotional support at home and seek help if needed. No parent should ever expect someone else to "care" for their child the way they would including providing necessary resources.

June 11 10:24 a.m.

Where in the world are the parents? Parents need to be responsible for their children - and should not be getting pregnant and birthing children for whom they are not prepared to provide the requisite care for eighteen years. It is absurd that parents pawn off responsibility of raising children to the school system. Schools are for academics -- teaching our children to read, write, and compute basic math problems. The rest is up to parents!

June 11 10:19 a.m.

Many needy students do not have parents with the skills to assist them. Emotional intelligence needs to be taught and part of the curriculum, i.e. English/Literature, perhaps.

June 11 10:10 a.m.

No. As it is, teachers are being tasked with teaching the things parents don't anymore, like manners, morals, hygiene, and so on as well as feeding them, nurturing them, and disciplining them. Teachers do this on top of teaching their own academic subject, which the state now wants to evaluate teachers on. To top it off, government and big business are trying to take away teachers' salaries and benefits while asking them to do more and more. The teacher bashing comments that will appear here will show what a thankless job it is and also how important it is.

June 11 10:10 a.m.

To a certain extent, if schools are not going to crack down hard on bullying they are responsible for the results of that action. bullying can come from peers as well as teachers and administration. if there is bullying then the person doing it needs to be removed from the school until an investigation is completed and if a false report then the person reporting it would be considered bullying. if the school is unable to handle bullying criminal proceedings should be started against the parents/kid for harassment ect. once the school takes those steps then they are not responsible for social ills and a new "program" should be started to handle these groups of kids.

June 11 10:04 a.m.

Parents responsibility! Parents today use the schools as babysitters of any and everything. Schools are for education. R.W.A. Get back to basics!

June 11 9:34 a.m.

Parents need to step up. If a parent isn't meeting these needs take the kids away and for God's sake make it where they can't have any more children! Some of these parents have kids just for the few extra dollars welfare will pay them because work is too hard for these low-life scums. Kids don't deserve it and the responsibility certainly isn't the teachers. Make the parents accountable for once.

June 11 9:25 a.m.

However, I do believe that those who are teachers and counselors need to refer their concerns regarding students who display emotional problems to the parents AND to school nurses who can then report to the appropriate agencies.

June 11 9:24 a.m.

Expel troubled or unstable students.

June 11 9:07 a.m.

It often feels like the schools are interfering with the personal lives of families unnecessarily. We need school vouchers to let parents who have children with special needs choose more appropriate educational institutions.

June 11 9:00 a.m.

Well they have to be, it's not a question of "should." We have 3rd and 4th grade "kids" now who act like junior high aged kids. They talk about shooting and guns and everything else. It is not fair to educators. Period.

June 11 8:56 a.m.

No way! Parents need to be parents instead of leaving it up to others to bring up your kids. Talk to your kids, get off your electronics, do things together, have dinner together and relate to each other.

June 11 8:53 a.m.

It's not a yes or no answer. Society needs to deal with why children are increasingly afflicted with mental health issues and deal with that first. Get to the root of the problem. However, we cannot abandon children because of our societal ills.

June 11 8:42 a.m.

Schools can be the gateway for appropriate treatment for mental health issues. Triage and referral.

June 11 8:41 a.m.

No, I dont believe they should be, but unfortunately some parents dont parent so someone has to.

June 11 8:41 a.m.

My answer is “no,” however there is an increasing need for stronger mental and emotional health support, and that cannot be denied. If we expect public schools to pick up the slack, then there needs to be serious review of school funding.

June 11 8:30 a.m.

A child who is hungry, ill, plagued with mental/emotional issues, or beset with other unaddressed problems is a student that is not going to be learning. Classrooms have been in the process of change now for a while and it would appear that teacher education/preparation and the placement of other types of professionals within school systems has not kept pace with needs and circumstances of the students. I would say that being situated in a place where the school can aid each child achieve his/her full academic potential IS fulfilling the primary educational mission even though this may mean embedding a mental health worker in the school or fostering programs that can enhance parental involvement. The times aren't changing - they have changed!

June 11 8:27 a.m.

Parents should be responsible for that. Even education should be the responsibility of the parents, schools are just a resource. If parents don't meet the needs of their child's mental health, or are not attempting, they should be charged with neglect. Teachers are NOT parents, the are TEACHERS! More responsibility should be placed on parents. Teachers are also faced with an incredible increase in discipline issues. In not classroom, when a student is asked to do a reasonable task should not be threatening to beat up a teacher. I've experienced this personally, and with a colleague, not once, but several times this year by the same students. The issue is the home and lack of parenting/discipline.

June 11 8:13 a.m.

Only if the staff gets more compensation for it.

June 11 8:04 a.m.

When the parents of students are mentally ill, dumb, and emotionally crippled, it's tough for the kid to be different. A stroll through your local supermarket provides all the evidence necessary to determine that northern New York has become a petri dish of genetic deficiency. Without war casualties (aside from "I need opiates"), famine, drought or thoughtful/humane population control -- the peasant class runs amok. Maybe the idiot-in-chief can tweet his way into a nuclear war and we can start over?

June 11 7:54 a.m.

It would be nice if there was some trained personal, but again it will come down to who is going to pay for the extra people... if it's our small town districts, the taxpayers are already tapped out in just trying to find the money for regular teachers and supplies. If it's the state, it's still the taxpayers and as usual the larger schools downstate with more influence will win out and we'll be once again on our own. Maybe time for more communtiy projects for the public on how to be a good parent and raise your kids with out having to rely on the over-taxed schools to babysit and raise them for you!

June 11 7:44 a.m.

Each school should have a mental health counselor or share one between schools. Teachers are not trained even though some think they are. St Lawrence County mental health ran a safe schools grant program for five years to place a mental health counselor in schools. They identified mental health issues early, resolved emotional problems without involving the child in the MH system and if the child has a serious problem referred them to a mental health clinic. This program was extremely successful in keeping children out of the MH system that didn't need to be there but ended because the legislators didn't want to fund the counselors once the grant ran out. The schools didn't fund them either.

June 11 7:42 a.m.

Parents have abdicated their responsibility for their children! While schools are expected to fill this vacuum, education is suffering.

June 11 7:07 a.m.