I needed this day. I needed to laugh and take it all in. Love what I do, but this past few days were some of the hardest days of my life. After what happened with Bayport High School I really wanted to quit. Give up. I was beat.
Thankfully, Bayport High School is behind me, for the most part. Still receiving messages on the daily from teachers, staff, students, parents, other communities too. Other educators, teachers, and former students from the Green Bay area in support and embarrassed about how Bayport High School handled the whole day. I appreciate it, but the damage that was done is forever on the internet and it’s disgusting.
You know, I haven’t received any messages from the superintendent or any of the school administration. The things that bothers me the most is one word we preach to our students everyday . . . INTEGRITY.
Anyways, I wanted to cancel the past two days and take a break, but I couldn’t. Conneaut High School in Ohio brought me because on December 13, 2018, a former student took his life. The family wanted instead of donations, flowers, etc., they wanted to raise money to bring me into their school to spend the day with the students, staff, parents and community. How could I cancel when they wanted me and what they all had to go through for me to come to their school? No way was I cancelling and it was a great day.
After Conneaut, OH, I had a three hour drive to McGuffey, OH to speak at Upper Scioto Valley High School. I arrived on campus at 7:30am for the administration and counselors meet and greet. One of the first things I did hear is that they had 700 discipline referrals this year. What? I thought we were in for a long day.
Was I surprised! This day was one of the best days I’ve ever had. The students were outstanding. The staff was great. It was a day of mental health for the whole school. Talking. Relationships. Workshops. Classes. Games.
Then there was a SCHOOL IS PUT ON LOCKDOWN . . . For three hours and we improvised. Things changed but in education you are willing to change.
Thank you Upper Scioto Valley School Community. I can’t thank you enough for this amazing day. I appreciate being invited to come and work with you all on this Teen Mental Health Awareness Day at Upper Scioto Valley High School. Go Rams.
Teen Mental Health Speaker and Suicide Prevention Expert, Jeff Yalden works with school communities on teen mental health, suicide prevention, mental health awareness, and school culture all over North America. Please visit his website at www.TheJYF.org.