Letters: Social-emotional learning key for students’ mental health

It’s gut-wrenching to contemplate the horror of the mass shooting at the school in Uvalde, Texas.

It’s equally devastating that such tragedies now happen so often that it’s nearly impossible to remember them all.

While we need to do everything possible to make children more safe in school, safe schools aren’t created by installing metal detectors or other security technology, but rather by building crucial relationships.

An important tool for building such relationships is social-emotional learning.

School attackers often deal with mental health issues and are often exposed to stressors directly preceding their attacks.

Many live in abusive households or have experienced major loss.

While some students might be clearly in need of psychiatric help, other troubled students might not be so easy to identify.

That’s where social-emotional learning can help.

Children can learn and use these skills to regulate their emotions, better understand and communicate with others, and make good decisions.

These skills can boost students’ mental health as well as lead to decreased behavior problems, including violence.

As reported in the July 18 Post and Courier, in most cases of school violence, at least one person knows about an attack before it happens.

In order to encourage students to speak up, every student should have a connection with an adult on campus. Social-emotional learning can foster these connections.

We’ll never know how many tragedies are averted when students warn adults about them. Sadly, we know how many happen when they don’t.

Too many to remember.

AL ESTEE

Founder, Social Emotional Learning Alliance for South Carolina

Charleston

Remember to tip

While it would seem encouraging that South Carolina’s unemployment numbers are improving, I find it confusing that officials in this country count “those who are unemployed but looking for work” as part of the labor force, as reported in Saturday’s Post and Courier article, “Labor force remains below national average.”

People looking for work is not the same as people working. It is easy to see that many local businesses are struggling from a lack of employees.

Some businesses have reduced hours of operation, at others there may be a long wait, and some businesses have closed citing lack of help.

Businesses and employees are also struggling from the effects of inflation.

Please, tip your servers, especially those at fast food restaurants.

Not only are they working under pressure with reduced staff, they need the extra money to survive.

SUSANNE L. LEMKE

Mount Pleasant

Trump lacks virtue

I write in regard to the July 22 letter to the editor, “Grand hypocrisy.”

There is plenty of criticism to go around for both Presidents Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

One important difference between the two men is virtue, or lack thereof.

President George Washington once said: “Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people. The general government … can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, or any despotic or oppressive form so long as there is any virtue in the body of the people.”

Benjamin Franklin gave a stark warning on the lack of virtue when he said : “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

If virtue in the people is important, then it must be possessed by their leaders if there is any hope that it will be in the body of the people.

The Jan. 6 Committee gave us all a good look at what happens when virtue in a leader is lacking, and I, for one, am grateful.

DOUGLAS DEVLAMING

Charleston

Bankrupt Russia

When I was in elementary school, we practiced getting under our desks to avoid the blast of a possible Russian nuclear weapon.

I will be 78 next month, and the world is still being intimidated by the Russians.

At first, we pretended to fight communism. But we have been at war with the same old autocratic imperialism that has filled the world’s history books.

It is time for this to end. And the best way to bankrupt Russia is in the same way that the Soviet Union was bankrupted out of existence.

That means the war in Ukraine would have to go on for some time.

Even if Russia should take over Ukraine, it will face what the United States faced in Afghanistan, times 10. There is no victory possible for Russia.

The nation is caught in a trap it created unless we let it out.

We must continue to support Ukraine and urge it to not settle with Russia.

It is a small price to pay to get rid of Vladimir Putin and his evil KGB and Federal Security Service. We need to persevere.

WILLIAM A. JOHNSON

Mount Pleasant

Gilbreth missed

I miss Dr. Edward M. Gilbreth’s weekly column, “Line by Line.”

His columns were most enjoyable. I wish him the very best.

FRED W. KINARD JR.

Charleston

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