Guiding students to better decisions

January 29, 2019

After students engage in a fight they are sent to their dean, and discipline is sought out for them. However, students may feel concerned on what emotional aspects are addressed if they were to get into a fight.

Whether it’s having to see a counselor or being put into therapy, the process for a student after they are given consequences is unsure.

DGS counselor Lavon Robinson clarifies that although a student must go to their dean, they do not have to see their school counselor.

“Students are not required to see their counselor after they get into a fight. If it is something of a more serious nature, then there will be a meeting with the counselor, the dean, the student and a parent,” Robinson said.

DGS counselor Tim Christy speaks out on how he feels as though the counselors don’t need any more involvement after a students gets into a fight than they already have.

“I think that when it’s appropriate the dean’s office does contact us [counselors] to work with students when they’re having issues… I have not had any direct contact with any of them [my students] myself this year but I have in the past,” Christy said.

Even though they do not handle disciplinary issues, counselors, psychologists and social workers are still involved in the process after a student chooses to partake in a physical fight.

“Our deans do a good job here of obviously dealing with discipline but getting to know their students on more than just a ‘you did this action’ [sort of level]. They get to know [the students] on a social/emotional level. Every counselor is on a team that consists of the counselor, dean and social worker. Even though we may not see this news in a fight, we’ll discuss what happened and talk about how we can best support that student moving forward,” Robinson said.

If students are not required to visit a counselor or social worker after being involved in a fight, there is a breaking question on what usually causes violent interactions. DGS psychologist Catherine Robinson speaks out on common factors that contribute to students participating in fights.

“Obviously, anger is kind of the most accessible feeling. [But also looking at things like] who are the role models in their life? The people at home, how do they deal with their anger? What does that look like? This breaks down where [the fighting is] all coming from,” Catherine Robinson said.

Lavon Robinson also feels there are multiple factors that can lead a student into getting involved in an altercation.

“I think it’s a few different things. Some of my students who get into altercations, they may have anger issues. Sometimes the other person will come up to them and start a conflict and they aren’t someone to back down so things just continue to escalate,” Lavon Robinson said.

Although deans handle the consequences a student receives after they get into a fight, Lavon Robinson makes it clear students are welcome to receive emotional support anytime they need.

“I try to build a strong relationship with my students, and generally fights come about from strong emotional responses. So I try to check in with them to see what’s going on emotionally so they know they can come see me when they’re usually frustrated or angry instead of fighting,” Lavon Robinson said.

Christy can agree to this as he speaks for all counselors when it comes to preventing a student from getting into a physical altercation due to social issues.

“Anytime that a counselor here hears from a student that there’s something going on in their social life that could lead to a fight we would certainly try to intervene and we would usually involve the dean’s office as well,” Christy said.

Catherine Robinson also mentions a multitude of different ways a student can receive emotional assistance, whether it be after they engage in a physical altercation or feel as if their emotions will soon escalate and cause them to partake in a physical altercation.

“We would encourage the students to develop problem solving, coping strategies and learn how to deal with their emotions when the emotions get to a point where they’ve reached the threshold of [saying] ‘I need to talk to somebody and I need to get help.’ We’ve also talked about some coping strategies, mindfulness and some breathing techniques to get everything back to baseline,” Catherine Robinson said.

Another solution could potentially be attending one of many support groups available at DGS.

“… An end result could be that there is a support group for [the student], but it’s voluntary, and it’s not mandatory at this point,” Catherine Robinson said.

If students feel as though their anger requires emotional assistance, they can contact their counselor, social worker or psychologist. A student can find their counselor or social worker on the DGS website under “Student Support Services.”

 

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