NY Post: Suicide prevention starts in preschool . . . or so says Dr. de Blasio.
The mayor on Sunday called the suicide epidemic sweeping city schoolkids “troubling” — and then said he believes his proposed pre-K program could help curb the trend.
“It’s a larger societal phenomenon,” the mayor said, referring to student suicide, which has claimed the lives of 10 public-school kids in the past two months.
“It is deeply troubling,” de Blasio told reporters at an Upper East Side press conference on housing issues. “Its not just in our public schools. We’re seeing this at the college level, too. We have to reach children earlier.”
He said allowing educators to reach children at an earlier age will give youngsters “hope” and “opportunity.” “I really believe early childhood education is crucial to the whole equation because it is part of putting kids on a productive, positive path early and not letting them feel like they can’t make it,” the mayor said.
But not everyone appreciated de Blasio’s not-so-subtle plug for his pre-K agenda, which includes taxing the wealthy to finance it. “The whole world doesn’t revolve around pre-K,” said Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents’ Union.
“Suicides have nothing to do with pre-K,’’ she said. “Shame on the mayor for connecting the two.” “This is about mental-health issues that need to be addressed. Kids get bullied and school officials don’t do anything.”
As The Post reported Sunday, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña revealed the startling statistic before a group of city school principals during a closed-door meeting.
At that meeting, Fariña said she was “heartsick” to learn that 10 students had taken their own lives during her seven-week tenure. “I spoke to principals yesterday,” she said. “They have to understand, on top of academics . . . they also have to worry about their kids’ emotional needs.”
And what report did DeBlasio cite to prove that pre-kindergarten will help prevent suicides? This is just more rhetoric in DeBlasio’s push for universal pre-kindergarten – and a tax on the wealthy.
Good little mayor though – never let a crisis go to waste and never let it stop you from pushing your agenda.