Southern Boone Schools Superintendent Chris Felmlee said this week that the district would be working harder to help students with mental health issues, not arming faculty or administration.

While that step is contrary to what Pres. Donald Trump is establishing nation-wide, Felmlee said after talking with administrators and high school students, the district is moving in the right direction.

The White House said Sunday night that it will establish a Federal Commission on School Safety, chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and will begin working with states to provide “rigorous firearms training” to some schoolteachers.

However, Felmlee said he, along with SoBoCo High School Principal Dale Van Deven and assistant principal David Shire met with the high school student council members and their concerns were different than those played up in the media.

“I was amazed and impressed by their maturity and concerns,” Felmlee said of the students. “They are not concerned with the political stuff swirling about the school shooting issues. They are primarily concerned with the mental health needs of their peers – how to cope with the stresses of school, peer pressure, athletics, and being a teenager.”

Felmlee indicated students would not be participating in the national walkout.

“We will have Boone County Mental Health’s Steve Hollis come and make a presentation to the student council and then come back in April and make a presentation to the entire student body,” Felmlee said. “I think the ‘fix’ is working through mental health instead of bullets and weapons.”

~ Read more in today’s Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace