So many important issues and so little time.
When advocates showed up this week at a hearing before the Joint Committee on Education in Boston to speak in favor of things they think should be included in the Massachusetts public school curriculum they provided a snapshot of our times, in a small way.
Mental health education needs to be emphasized more in public schools, some advocates told the committee members, because more people are struggling under pressure and dealing with mental disorders and suicidal thoughts.
But wait. What about teaching young people how to control bleeding, a skill they might need if an attack or tragedy occurred at a crowded public place, such as Fenway Park or TD Garden, Dr. Eric Goralnick, the medical director of emergency preparedness at Brigham Health, asked lawmakers.
But there was more. Climate change denial and misinformation about science circulating today occupied part of the discussion before the committee. Andy Zucker from the group Media Literacy Now, told lawmakers, “Students should be taught how to think critically for themselves about allegedly scientific facts they find in media. Fortunately, research shows it is possible to inoculate people against misinformation.”
Rep. Alice Peisch, a veteran Wellesley Democrat and House chair of the Education Committee, pointed out that most public school curriculum changes come from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – not through legislation passed on Beacon Hill.
“There’s only so much time in the day,” Peisch reminded speakers. “There are, as you’re hearing today, many things that people would like to see us add to the curriculum of schools.”
So many issues and so much to be done.