S.O.S. Program Needed Now
J. Coyden Palmer
Last month the Chicago Public Schools announced they would be laying off 2,000 teachers and support staff for the upcoming school year. In response to the news, many critics have said those who will be put at most risk will be students with special needs. Not only those with learning and physical disabilities are at risk, but those students with past behavioral issues and those who have been identified as being at risk of being victims of Chicago street violence could lose essential services.
Dr. Michelle Hoy-Watkins, Department Chairperson of Forensic Psychology at The Chicago School Forensic Center, said she is worried many of her former clients will be put in peril by the school closings and subsequent layoff of staff. Hoy-Watkins created a program Save Our School Children [SOS] four years ago that is designed to work with male youth in the 6th through 12th grades with a focus on violence prevention.