I received a phone call from the Chief of Police the day a young man in a neighboring community ended his life. He was in the sixth grade. Chief said he and the superintendent wanted to do something for their school and community. Like many schools and communities, the topic of mental health among our students and staff becomes real when it hits too close to home.
I arrived in Queen City, TX, a rural community on the Arkansas border about 30 minutes south of Texarkana, TX. Upon my arrival I was greeted by the Chief and Superintendent, Ms. Charli [Charlotte Williams], an amazing lady who has spent her whole career in this community. Quickly, I met all the staff and got to spend 30 minutes with them. As school was starting, about 15 local law enforcement personnel, two judges, a district counselor, and administrators and counselors from other school communities had arrived to hear my message.
Grades five through eight were all seated quietly. It was go time.
I spent nearly two hours speaking with these outstanding students and school staff, law enforcement, judges, administrators, and counselors. It was an amazing visit talking about life, mental health, resiliency, and kindness.
Throughout the day, I got to visit individual classrooms, meeting with groups of kids and teachers. I met with a few individual students who needed some support and guidance. I got to meet a student whose first day was the day of my visit.
This was a very special day at Queen City ISD. We talked about mental health and teens, our schools and our responsibilities, and discussed gray areas and situations where we have to make tough decisions.
As the day ended, I couldn’t help but think of how special a community this was. Great staff and teachers. An administration and counseling department that really cared about their students and the climate of the school.
Queen City is another school being proactive and making sure we they doing everything to meet the social and emotional needs of their students. Thank you for having me as a guest. You all were very special.
Important Links on Jeff Yalden Website: https://www.TheJYF.org
Contact Page: https://thejyf.org/contact/
The Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc. (Donate): https://thejyf.org/foundation/
TEDx Talk - https://youtu.be/nP_xXPvJctI
Tippicanoe Valley High School - https://youtu.be/rpfVjoYAgik
Barnard, MO - https://youtu.be/KAKnjeFyRR0