Home Online Work Violence, vandalism, emotions surge after months of NM online learning

Violence, vandalism, emotions surge after months of NM online learning


Ash Brotman, a member of the Peer to Peer counseling club, sits down near the club booth during a mental health fair at Eldorado High School on Thursday, April 7, 2022. The fair was open to students and families to check out various organizations, both from the school and outside, that offer mental health aid and also featured a panel discussion about the importance of mental health care in high schools.

This article was originally published by Searchlight New Mexico.

For many students in New Mexico, going back to school after months of online learning was a stormy experiment in resocialization. Reuniting with friends and peers brought joy and relief to most, but the process of reentry could also be jarring and chaotic, especially for those who felt the harshest impacts of COVID-19.

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How has that played out in the classroom? Violent outbursts and risky behaviors have become increasingly common during the return to in-person schooling, and higher numbers of students are experiencing anxiety and depression, educators report. This mirrors national findings that note an alarming rise in mental health crises among children as young as 5 years old. 

“For some of these kids, going back to school was a version of culture shock,” said Martin Jones, an educational psychologist at the University of New Mexico, who studies the impact of social bonds on academic motivation.

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