Kids' Mental Health at Risk of Becoming America's Next Culture War

Source: AXIOS | Repost Fight for Life Foundation 4/18/2022 –

As more states and school districts move to address children’s mental health, some parents and activists are making school-based support programs a political flashpoint, saying they put school officials in inappropriate roles and could indoctrinate students in progressive thinking.

Why it matters: The pandemic has created a greater sense of urgency around children’s mental health, but statistics have been trending in the wrong direction for years, with sometimes tragic consequences for families and communities.

State of play: School-based efforts that have been shown to support kids’ mental, social and emotional health are getting pulled into a broader debate about what happens in public school classrooms and guidance counselors’ offices.

  • High-profile state legislation, like Texas’ law equating transgender care with child abuse and Florida’s law prohibiting “classroom discussions about sexual orientation or gender identity” before fourth grade have sparked outrage among mental health professionals concerned about their impact on children and families.
  • The reach of such legislation — as well as grassroots campaigns and local school district disputes — goes beyond issues of sexuality and gender identity.


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