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National Climate Change: Doubling Down on Our Precision and Emphasis on Prevention and Behavioral Sciences  

Author:  George Sugai.; Jennifer Freeman.; Brandi Simonsen.; Tamika La Salle.; Dean Fixsen.

Source: Volume 17, Number 30, Summer 2017 , pp.58-63(6)

Emotional & Behavioral Disorders in Youth 2017

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Recent shifts in our national political and social climate have resulted in corresponding increases in contentious, hurtful, and derogatory conduct by individuals who are visible and influential models. These conditions present educators with significant and immediate challenges in supporting all students, but especially those students who are vulnerable and at risk for behavioral and mental health problems. In addition, educators must confront their own feelings of stress, confusion, anger, and lack of preparedness. This article strongly suggests that educators revisit and implement positive and proactive practices to support all students, and encourages an immediate and explicit reinvestment and doubling down of practice use. The authors emphatically advocate that educators must act now in preventive, deliberate, and actionable ways that students experience every moment of every school day and that promote safe, respectful, and trusting relationships between students and adults, adults with other adults, and students with other students.

Keywords: Social climate change, prevention, leadership teaming, behavioral sciences, school behavioral health, multitiered systems of support

Affiliations:  1: Univ of Connecticut Neag School of Education (UCt Neag); 2: UCt Neag; 3: UCt Neag; 4: UCt Neag; 5: UNC CH School of Global Public Health.

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