ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The director of the state’s largest school district says violence and bad behavior in schools is on the rise. Now Albuquerque Public Schools share this warning with parents: keep an eye on your children.
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GSP Superintendent Scott Elder says although they don’t know exactly why kids are suddenly playing more, they have ideas – and need the help of the ward to stop them. This is happening after more than a year of virtual and hybrid learning since the beginning of the pandemic.
“I think it probably has to do with the fact that many of these children, such as our freshers, were in 7th grade for a full year of their final year,” Elder said. “They lost a lot of time on socialization, they lost a lot of time on coping strategies. Many of these students have received special services from us that may have been more difficult during the pandemic. “
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The district says “extreme behaviors” are on the rise – from fighting to shootings like the one that killed a Washington Middle School student in the first week of the school year, and even vandalism caused by a new social Media trend is fueled. This is one of the reasons Superintendent Elder sent a letter Thursday addressing the district’s parents and guardians directly.
“I don’t think parents are really aware of this,” Elder said. “The letter was sent to help parents know what is going on so they can have conversations with their children.”
While the district doesn’t know exactly why this is happening, they believe personal return is emotional for the students – and they release those emotions in both positive and negative ways. Elder says it reflects the behaviors observed across the country during the pandemic.
“Our city is struggling and schools are a reflection of the church,” Elder said. “Our students see what we see on the news and they reflect it.”
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Elder, who previously served as a teacher in the district for years, says the staff monitor student behavior and conduct social checks. However, they still need the help of those at home who see the children outside of the classroom.
“I also think we should encourage our students and teach them how to better address conflicts and concerns. The school and staff are there to support and work with these children, ”Elder said. “We don’t want to punish children. We want to work with them and educate them, but we need a safe environment to do this in, so some of our kids are choosing to do it a little less safely and that has to stop. “
Despite the difficult beginning of the first year of school, which begins personally in 2019, Elder believes students and schools will cope with this over time, but says school safety is a shared responsibility. APS says like many law enforcement agencies in the area, there is also a labor shortage – 11 officers and 18 security guards on campus. Elder encourages students and staff to report any threats to Crime Stoppers where they can remain anonymous.