DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #41

Dear Granddaddy, where have all the social workers in our schools gone? Aren’t they needed more than ever during this time of school shootings? Aly H. – high school student

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Aly, I feel your pain. Somehow this generation of adults has at least partially failed this generation of students. Something different has to be done to meet our students’ social and emotional needs, as well as improve our students’ social and emotional maturity and intelligence.

Sadly, today, many kids’ social and emotional ages are lagging far behind their actual chronological ages. It’s not uncommon to see a kid chronologically 16 years old, who is still emotionally and socially at age 10. The student isn’t acting his age because he hasn’t learned how to.

We need to do better for our children. Now, to be honest with you, Aly, my school still has some social workers, but due to the school’s size and high needs, our students certainly could benefit from more. It sounds like your school has really cut the the number of social workers, but I hope they haven’t totally eliminated them.

So, what can we do about this situation we’re in, Aly? Hey, sometimes the only thing we can do is speak up for what’s right and get others to do the same. Let’s speak loud enough for our voices to be heard throughout our schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

Kids can take more social and emotional responsibility. Kids can notice and better control their own actions and the actions of others. If we see someone doing something they shouldn’t be doing, let’s tell them to stop. If someone is doing something dangerous, let’s make them stop or find someone who can. There really is no reason why kids can’t help other kids do the right thing… It’s really just a matter of choice.

Aly, I’m sorry I can’t put back the social workers who left your school, but hopefully, I gave you a few simple strategies in speaking up and helping your classmates mature so that I’ve made some kind of positive impact on your life. Keep doing good!

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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: