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Astor on ‘Tsunami of Mental Health Needs’ in Schools

A Reuters article on signs that the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic are worsening gun violence in American schools included insights from Social Welfare Professor Ron Avi Astor. Since the 2021-22 school year began, campuses have been the site of 141 shootings, more than at any point in the previous decade, gun safety advocates say. Astor said several factors, including the pandemic, overall community violence and breakdowns in family structures, have created a “tsunami of mental health needs” in schools. In many places, burnout, staffing shortages and illness have left teachers and administrators ill-equipped to deal with the challenges. “Kids are walking into a system that has been massively weakened,” Astor said. “We’re going to see a variety of different forms of gun violence and violence in general. We’re in a situation where things are going to get worse.”


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