children

Students Experiencing Homelessness Are Supposed to Get Extra Help. Here’s How California Can Do Better

Almost all children who experience housing insecurity also experience trauma because of the stress of their situation. California and the federal government recognize this, and require schools to provide these children with additional support.

But experts believe tens of thousands of California children experiencing homelessness fall through the cracks and receive little to no help from their schools.

Schools must help homeless students. Here’s what you should know

During the 2019-20 school year, close to 1.3 million children in the nation’s public schools were identified as homeless. But that figure may vastly underestimate the actual number. A Center for Public Integrity analysis found evidence that thousands of school districts are undercounting.

Experts who spoke with Public Integrity said that confusion surrounding the McKinney-Vento law and who qualifies as “doubled-up” can leave many students unidentified and not receiving the support they need in school.

Opinion: It’s Time to Fulfill Our Promise to Teachers, Students and Parents

I recently introduced Senate Bill 387 to help teachers and school-based staff receive training on how to recognize the signs of a mental health crisis.

Although teachers and school-based staff are not trained mental health professionals, they are in a unique position to support youth who need help. By equipping teachers with the training needed to recognize the signs of someone experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge, we’ll help ensure students don’t slip through the cracks.

Analysis: We Can Talk About Abortion Without Being Ableist

I made the choice to continue a high-risk pregnancy, but I honor the choice of any pregnant person who opts to terminate given the same set of facts.

What I don’t like is seeing ableism — that is, prejudice against adults and children with disabilities — rolled into discussions about abortion, as has happened often since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Opinion: We Need More Mental Health Resources to Tackle Childhood Anxiety

In 2013, my son Ram spontaneously developed a condition called selective mutism, a childhood anxiety disorder. After three months of searching, I finally found a therapist familiar with the condition. My husband and I felt so relieved — until we found out she doesn’t take insurance.

It turns out, this scenario is common. Health insurance — whether private or through California’s Medi-Cal program — doesn’t pay what many psychologists request for their services.

Opinion: The Gun Violence That Doesn’t Make the News

I’m a pediatric intern at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a safety-net hospital in Los Angeles County. When I decided to go into pediatrics, I pictured helping children and their families with broken bones, asthma and ear infections, as well as some chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

I never imagined how often I would take care of children trying to heal from the physical and mental trauma of being shot.

Doctor’s Notes: What I’m Seeing in Young Children Who Get COVID

AG is a 2-month-old, healthy chubby baby with “Michelin man” rolls and pinchable cheeks, and he’s my patient. I’m a pediatric intern at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a safety-net hospital in Los Angeles. When AG missed his checkup in late December, I was worried.

My colleague told me that AG recently had been in our emergency room. He tested positive for COVID-19.

California Laws Don’t Prevent Minors from Marrying Adults

In California, a person under 18 can marry with the consent of one parent and a judge. The state is one of only nine in the nation that do not set a minimum age for marriage.

People married as children or teens are more likely to experience domestic violence, contract sexually transmitted infections, have early pregnancies, and end up divorced, research shows. Marriage under 18 also contradicts age of consent laws in many states.

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