What's going on with our kids?

And with schools?

And with the mental health push coming from our state capital?

Is it terrifying that elected officials see fit to introduce or pass legislation that continues to parade itself under the banner of, we're the government, and we're here to help?!

No one doubts that mental health issues are on the rise.

We see it.

The numbers state it clearly.


What if the solution the government has offered, Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), is the problem?

In a nutshell, it’s the latest fad to send the same old message pushed by progressives for more than a century that education should focus less on knowledge of academic content and more on student attitudes, mindsets, values, and behaviors.

Could SEL's constant introspection be, in part, a driver for our kid's mental health decline?

Why does this invasive curriculum continuously ask deep dive questions about our kids, their feelings on the universe, culture, the environment, politics, family, how their family makes them feel, and so on, AND then share them in the classroom with their classmates? Then collect that data?


Is it conceivable that the non-PhD, non-MD, non-clinical counselor, non -social worker guided and led therapy sessions, in every discipline, in every class, lead kids to wonder, what's wrong with me? And then wonder who can help?

Isn't it then quite convenient that counselors are there?

To conduct private mental health sessions?

Over which you, mom and dad, have no say.


What about the suicide prevention hotline number on our kid's Chromebooks that pop open as soon as they flip their computers up for the day?

Young eyes see that tab.

Day after day.

Week after week.

Year after year.

Could that be the problem?

Or, perhaps it's the diaries?

That the teacher checks.

But not you.

Unless you're strange and care about what your kids are doing.

No Mom.

No Dad.

No Grandparent.

Stay in your lane.

As you'll see in a moment, parental units, you're on the outer segment of the SEL wheel.

Could it be that our kids are getting guidance without a moral foundation, which has driven them to deep despair?

Teddy Roosevelt got it right when he said,

"To educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society."

Where do you put those constantly cultivated emotions? With parents clearly on the outside, where is a kid supposed to go?

How did we get here? To this awful place?

Because the slide toward the SEL curriculum didn't start yesterday.

Remember whole language learning - AKA, the first step in parent-child separation?

Because phonics and sounding out actual words instead of guessing at them was the method from the olden days, parents couldn't help.

Same with NEW math. And Common Core math.

How often have you heard that this math is different and better? But, parents, you're not meant to help!

And now?

They don't even try to hide it. Parents aren’t welcome.

Which means that schools, funded by people we elected, use a curriculum that purposely separates children from their God-given authority, their parents.

How has this worked for us?

Because ideas have consequences, after all.

It means that we’re 52nd in reading and 46th in math.

Legislators, do you hear us?Why are you doing anything but supporting the primary education of our kids?

Why are you engaged in the push for all things mental health?

Do you understand that anything you approve of regarding mental health and public school steps entirely in the way of parents and their children? And in front of our kids getting a proper education?

Funding S.B. 40 and whatever house number it may end up with suggests that you agree with the tenants of SEL.

Do you?

Instead, what if we got back to basics?

Here's a test from 1895 that 8th graders had to pass. 

Or, what if we were like South Korea, where everyone is expected to achieve? There aren't honors classes or A.P. or above grade level. Their PISA scores (the program for international student assessment), a test for 15-year-lds that 78 countries use, including the U.S., are consistently high.

Do you want our kids to feel better?

Let them achieve in the classroom.

The old-fashioned way.

Instead of daily therapy sessions, imagine what would happen if we taught them how to think?

Oh, the places you could go.

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being."― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer, and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.