Ferguson Doubles Its School Counselors for Students' Return

August 22, 2014

In preparation for a late start to the school year next week in Ferguson, Mo., nearly 2,200 Ferguson-Florissant School District teachers, bus drivers and other staff members underwent crisis training on Thursday. The purpose is to help them identify “signs of stress” as students of the riot-torn city re-enter the classroom, according to the district.

“A lot of times with crisis situations, you don’t see the response right away. It comes later,” Angela Bratcher, a clinical director at Great Circle, a St. Louis-based behavioral health organization, told USA Today.

In anticipation of anxieties caused by the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown and subsequent protests, Great Circle will help the district double its counseling staff as students start their first day of school on Monday. The district, which had one counselor for each of its 24 schools, is adding another 25 from Great Circle, USA Today reported.

Classes were supposed to start Aug. 14, but were postponed out of fear of violence. Since then, the community has pulled together. A small army of teachers has been tutoring some students in a makeshift school at a local library, and a handful of elementary schools have been providing free lunches to students who need them, according to the New York Times.

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