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|Prevent Future Shootings; Identify Troubled Students, Doctor Says|
|News Releases - Civic News & Info|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Monday, 25 March 2013 12:12|
Educational Psychologist Offers Tips to Help Schools Help Kids
In a recent interview marking the anniversary of a school shooting that killed two students and wounded 13, the then-teenaged gunman shares the warning signs he displayed before his tragic meltdown.
"My dad noticed my grades slipping … I would come home with bruises and lie to him,” says Charles “Andy” Williams, now 27, in the Oprah Winfrey Network interview.
"I didn't know how to communicate that somethin' really, really bad was goin' on. I didn't know how to talk about it."
Take Andy’s story, says educational research specialist Dr. Mariam Azin, and multiply it by hundreds of thousands of students across the country. Among them are the next Adam Lanza, James Holmes, or Andy Williams – people who have become so emotionally disturbed, they turn to killing strangers.
“It’s the quiet kids who slip through the cracks and don’t get the help they need,” says the founder and CEO of Mazin Education (www.mazineducation.com), a social psychologist who has spent decades conducting research in educational settings and on at-risk students.
One high school for which she gathered data found that 750 of its 2,500 students reported having a substance abuse issue. But, in the year she studied, only 10 students were referred for substance abuse intervention, and just five of them connected with a program. Three completed it.
“The loud and disruptive kids who are having problems get the attention they need; the quiet ones don’t,” Mazin says. “If we can identify them – and we can! -- and intervene, we can help prevent future violence and suicides.”
She says schools can take some simple but effective steps right now to begin identifying troubled students.
After a tragedy, Azin says, those who knew the perpetrator recall the signs they witnessed: not speaking to classmates, drug use, bullying.
“People see the signs,” she says. “Shouldn’t we create a way for them to document that information and get these kids help before something terrible happens?”
About Dr. Mariam Azin
Dr. Mariam Azin is president and CEO of Mazin Education, an educational company focused on software solutions that help schools to better assess, identify and serve at-risk students. Dr. Azin holds a doctorate in applied social psychology and has more than 20 years’ experience in educational research and evaluation. She has been the principal investigator on numerous large-scale evaluation efforts related to students, currently serving as joint principal investigator on three federal Safe Schools/Healthy Students evaluations. She is the creator of Mazin Encompass, a software program that helps schools better identify and serve at-risk students.
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