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Philip Lazarus, Psychology Professor

We have too many troubled children with undeveloped or impaired interpersonal skills whose first response to a social problem is violence. We have young people shooting, stabbing, stomping or burning their class mates.

We need to implement innovative programs, curriculums and school structures that prevent these incidents from occurring rather than respond to them in the aftermath.

As a former chair and founding member of the National Emergency Assistance Team, my team and I have responded to more than a dozen school shootings.

As the current president of National Association of School Psychologists, I want to use the bully pulpit to persuade legislators and educators to focus on the total child and provide more mental health services in schools to help children cope in this highly challenging world.

I have been a professor at FIU since 1978 and, as the program director of the School Psychology Program, I have trained many of Miami-Dade County’s school psychologists — those who see to our children’s mental health.

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