FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM DECEMBER 5, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 33
oped letters & comments
We must invest more in
our children’s futures
BY COREY JOHNSON
Poverty. Housing instability.
Food insecurity. Bullying. Gang
violence. Complicated family
dynamics. Imagine battling with
these stressors while trying to
focus on your algebra or chemistry
All of these issues can have a traumatic eff ect on students,
and we must recognize and address that trauma
if we expect them to focus in school.
Part of making that a reality is ensuring that every
NYC student has access to school staff who can provide
the necessary social and emotional support they need.
Students are bombarded with confl icting ideas on
social media on a daily basis, and they are also grappling
with ever-increasing everyday societal pressures.
All of this can and does spill over into a student’s
school life, with adverse consequences that can
include absenteeism, failing grades and student-to-student
confl ict, among others.
Teachers do an amazing job juggling all these diff erent
concerns, but doing so oft en takes away time from
instruction. Teachers need support from other professionals
who are experts in addressing these challenges.
Students need access to social workers. Social workers
are pivotal to creating a healthy learning environment.
Research shows that social workers, guidance
counselors and school psychologists are benefi cial to
students’ social and emotional health, as well as their
academic outcomes. Th e comprehensive services that
social workers provide can address many barriers to
student learning. And, currently, too many schools
don’t have a social worker or have too few social workers.
Social workers provide critically important services
directly to students and sometimes to teachers and
Th ey help address many of the out-of-school needs
that can hinder a student’s learning. Th ey help bridge
the gap between school, home and community for students.
Th ey work to prevent school violence, improve
school climate, provide early intervention for students
and assist teachers with better classroom management.
But these professionals do more than create healthier
and happier students. In some cases, they make the
diff erence between life and death.
Th is is what happened to me.
As a teen dealing with depression and feeling scared
about coming out, a guidance counselor helped me
sort through my feelings and gave me the confi dence
to talk to my football team.
I’m not sure what would have happened if that guidance
counselor had said, “I don’t have time to talk to
I was lucky, but so many are not. Suicide rates are too
high, and students are suff ering. Th ey need support.
Th is year, the Council heard teachers, staff and students
loud and clear: our schools need more social
So we fought for and secured $29.7 million to support
269 full-time social workers in schools, up from
200 last year. Th is includes 100 Bridging the Gap social
workers in schools with the highest numbers of students
experiencing homelessness. But our school system
serves 1.1 million students, and they all would
benefi t from having social workers.
An investment in our children’s futures is an investment
in the future of our city. We are heading in the
right direction, but we absolutely must do more.
Corey Johnson is the Speaker of the New York City
TENURE AS NY MAYOR AS HIS
PRESIDENTIAL RUN BEGINS
If Michael Bloomberg gets elected, he will become only
the second president in history to serve more than the
constitutional limit of two terms.
He will so order it and he will give his encyclopedic
list of sycophants a chance to enable and serve him. His
strong will is unrestrained by human inhibition.
As he contrived a way as mayor to overturn the law
and make an exception for himself alone, he’ll repeat the
circumvention for what he will declare “the good of the
country.” Th is man can buy anything, including eternal
political life and billionaire endorsements.
During his career running for offi ce he’s been a
Republican, an Independent and this time a Democrat.
Above all, he’s always a Bloombergian.
What will he do for the middle class? Will he serve the
interests of working men and women?
Glaring us in the face is his record as mayor.
Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers belong to dozens
of public sector unions, which Michael Bloomberg
considers perfi dious. He was very proud of the fact that
when he left offi ce, every single collective bargaining
contract had expired and no progress had been made in
negotiating any new agreements.
Th at had never happened before or since.
Bloomberg not only allowed perpetual impasses, but
engineered them. He was the self-ordained apostle of
He exploited New York’s prohibition against public
employee union strikes by failing to negotiate in good
faith or indeed at all. He knew that union members
couldn’t endure the economic hardship of defi ance.
Th e fact that they had been deliberately driven into
desperation by the pig-headed dogmatic mayor would
not save or even cushion them.
His policies all together refl ected his philosophy of
managerial authority without restrictions and slavish
obedience by subordinates with merciless penalties for
asserting traditional rights in the workplace.
He superimposed his formula for ideal labor-management
relationships: blind obedience of the former to
Michael Bloomberg has now surveyed the political
lay of the land and found it inviting for his invasion.
He reckons it is time for us to reap the harvest of
his Olympian wisdom, which accrued from a lifetime of
paid off investments.
He is ruthless, hard-core and no less an autocrat for
having a soft voice.
MAKE SURE YOU’RE PREPARED
FOR THE NEXT EMERGENCY
Th is past September, I was at the Glen Oaks Village
Library and received vital information on what to do in
an emergency and how to prepare a plan.
First of all, I would like to thank all the librarians and
their assistants for the help I received.
In the fall we are subject to hurricanes and now in the
upcoming winter season, it is predicted we could be hit
by several snowstorms. For that, we need to know what
Everyone should have an emergency kit that should
consist of the following: One gallon of water per person;
non-perishable food; a manual can opener; a fl ashlight;
a battery-operated AM/FM radio with batteries; and a
phone that does not require electricity.
In serious situations, call 911 and in non-emergency
situations call 311.
In addition to the items listed above, one should put
together a go-bag that includes vital medications and
documents if you have to leave your home.
So, please be prepared and, along with your family,
come up with an emergency plan, as this winter could
Let me also remind you to check on your senior citizens
and our handicapped residents in your community
who might need assistance.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village
FOLLOW THESE CHRISTMAS
As we approach the beginning of the holiday season,
many people will begin to purchase their Christmas
When looking for a live Christmas tree, always remember
to shake the tree to see if a lot of needles fall to the
ground. If that happens, it usually is a very strong indication
that the tree is already in the process of drying out,
and would not be a good choice.
Aft er fi nally fi nding a Christmas tree that is full and
healthy and transporting it home, if you are not planning
to put it up immediately, then place it in a pail of water in
your garage, and refi ll the pail each day, because the tree
will use up all of the water every day.
Upon bringing it indoors and decorating it, never use
live candles — due to the risk of fi re — and only use UHL
approved lights. Always remember to check the cords to
make sure that there is no damage.
It is better to use tiny multi-colored or white lights
instead of the traditional larger ones because those large
bulbs are much hotter than the smaller ones, and the
large bulbs could also possibly start a fi re.
Do not ever set up your live Christmas tree anywhere
near your radiators, as the heat from them will speed up
the process of the tree drying out.
Always remember to turn off the lights when going out
and going to bed, and always keep the tree stand full with
water every single day.
Follow these tips and everyone will be able to have a
safe, happy holiday!
RIDGEWOOD STREETSCAPES //
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