Advocacy in School Counseling

Elizabeth V -

A part of my project that surprised me was realizing that school counseling is a political subject. When I started the project, it was my assumption that individual schools had control of the choice of whether or not to hire school counselors, school psychologists, and social workers. I also thought individual schools chose not to include social emotional curriculum in their teaching. Then I found out that state legislators decide how much funding goes towards mental health resources in public schools. I also learned that there is a social emotional curriculum set up but for the most part, boards of education in Arizona choose not to include it, even if adding it would benefit the academic curriculum.

I believe that just like with so many other issues, school counseling discussions need to happen when there are people in the room that know the subject. If school counselors and school psychologists had more influence in the rooms where these decisions are being made, that’s the first step to solving this issue. State legislators and boards of education can’t be expected to know everything about school safety or effective curriculum so bringing in people who are experts in these fields is a great first step to helping the situation.

Realizing this process over the course of my project has inspired me to consider careers in advocacy later on in my life. I’ve grown passionate about this side of the field thanks to the research I’ve found and I hope I can continue it.

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