TRENTON, NJ – After two years of New Jersey school children bouncing back and forth between remote learning and in-school learning, the COVID-19 pandemic, forced mask mandates, and a hypersensitive in-school environment, New Jersey Senator Kristin Corrado says the new normal is not as normal as it’s being portrayed.
Most New Jersey schools show every indication that “the usual” has returned after two years of COVID, but Senator Kristin Corrado said in a statement cautions that things aren’t always as they appear.
“The horrible masks are off, the daily COVID numbers have calmed, and people are relieved that at last, we’re getting back to normal,” said Senator Corrado (R-40). “But for thousands of students who saw their school lives and educations twisted, torn and battered by the pandemic, they continue to struggle in silence and secrecy.”
This week, the lede paragraph in a report published by Politico New Jersey was claimed, “New Jersey is in the midst of a pandemic-related student mental health crisis and the state’s systems of support are overwhelmed, experts say.”
This mental health pandemic crisis was borne out of extended remote learning, mandatory masking and lower standards for academic achievement during the pandemic as directed by Governor Phil Murphy during his two year leverage of pandemic emergency powers.
“There is no time to waste,” said Corrado. “I am hopeful the Legislature will act now, before budget season kicks into gear. This is a problem that will continue to spiral out of control if we don’t make appropriate care and intervention available to young people who have been disoriented by seemingly unending stress, anxiety, social isolation, and sadness relating to the pandemic.
“We know early intervention is crucial for those living with depression or other emotional challenges,” Corrado continued.
“Statistics show that school-age children are extremely vulnerable, with some estimates that as many as 20 percent of teenagers are living with mental health issues,” Corrado said. “With the pressures of the pandemic, combined with cyberbullying, these kids need help now.
“The recent increases in drug abuse, overdose and suicide make it clear that this is an emergency, and swift action is imperative,” Corrado stated.