Education Letter to the Editor

Don’t Cut Counselors; Their Role Is Vital

April 20, 2010 1 min read

Los Angeles, Calif.

As a credentialed and highly dedicated school counselor for the Los Angeles Unified School District, I am deeply concerned by the number of counselors being cut from schools, as well as proposed increases in the student-to-counselor ratio.

Counselors are at the forefront in combatting today’s nationwide bullying epidemic, a crisis in which students have unfortunately taken their own lives. We are often the first to know about this problem and other pivotal issues at school, mainly because students feel comfortable confiding in us.

School counselors are usually the first to drop their lunches to advocate for and defend their students. We know which street gangs pose the highest danger, and are constantly faced with ensuring that students have safer alternatives. We are the ones who know whose mother has cancer, whose uncle is an alcoholic, and whose dad is in jail or in a coma from being shot. We, the school counselors, are the ones who are the first to know and to help students who are being abused by others or are harming themselves.

Cutting counselors is an unimaginable disservice to students. Counselors teach valuable life skills that will enable young people to become independent and successful adults, and to thrive as productive members of society. It is crucial that we have enough counselors in our school systems to effectively address the growing number of issues that students face today, and to ensure healthy student bodies. Counselors have the ability to provide a safety net that allows student voices to be heard.

Ashley Rothenberg

Los Angeles, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the April 21, 2010 edition of Education Week as Don’t Cut Counselors; Their Role Is Vital