The inclusion of relaxation periods into MCPS system's school day

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Rejuvenate Campaign started this petition to Mr. Michael A. Durso and

In the most recent legislative platform, MCPS has decided to expand funding of mental health. They have also decided to educate more teachers and administrators on the warning signs of various mental health conditions. Although this will help some students struggling with mental health, it won't strike the root, the true cause of this issue.

As a high school student, I struggle with constant, nagging stress every single day in the form of homework, tests, quizzes, scores, extracurriculars and the constant fear of not being good enough. America's school system is designed this way. It's inevitable that students will have to struggle with these issues. My school, Richard Montgomery High School, decided to have a schoolwide discussion about mental health. At the end of the discussion, the facilitating teacher held a survey about the causes of stress and anxiety in student's lives. The vast majority of the class, during this survey, chose that school assignments and tests were the top causes. 

High school is an especially vulnerable time for people in terms of mental health as students are expected to figure out what they want to do with their life, their ambitions, their identity, and at the same time, excel and impress colleges with good grades and extracurriculars. In a school system as competitive as Montgomery County, even more pressure is placed on the students. 

We are told that school counselors are here for us. But what are the chances that a student struggling with mental health problems is going to go to a person they barely know and vent? More than three times, I have gone to my counselor and he/she wasn't there. It's unrealistic to expect students to talk to counselors, who are often busy as they manage a ton of kids. 

Ultimately, students need time to relax. A period of time in the day where they aren't under pressure. Oftentimes, students have to participate in clubs or make-ups during lunch and after school. Teachers should not be allowed to host retakes or make-ups during this span of time. Sometimes we just need a breather.

 

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