Let's Talk: Discussion of Episode One of MTV's “16 and Recovering” Part Four

Video Length: 2:0
Transcript: 

[Dr. Compton Speaking]

Michelle, one of the things I noticed is you describe your students as sick, as having illnesses and that’s been a theme that we’ve seen in science for now the last 20 or 25 years where we focus on addiction as a brain disease and understanding how there are changes in the brain brought about by drugs and as well as differences in the brain may predispose people to drug use, and I’m curious how that notion of treating your students as having an illness helps you or does it ever get in the way, that perspective? 

[Michelle Speaking]

I mean, I think it’s… You know, I have a staff of 13, 14 of us and I think at any given time someone’s like, oh, my gosh, can we just suspend them, you know, like they are so over the top and I just think we have to. But thank goodness there’s always somebody who’s irrational and there’s somebody who’s rational, because I feel like people hit that spot that makes them feel like it’s so unsafe here. 

But it’s just temporary. I have to keep reminding people, like when students are dysregulated, it’s very temporary, and they feel really big and they’re not acting as though we would like them to act in our classrooms. But, yes, I mean, I think as far as following the science, we know who we’re dealing with, we know how it’s going to manifest in our schools. 

We know, when we take a student who has, you know, a Cochrane disorder with a lot of other psychiatric issues, that we’re going to expect that this is going to happen. So, what we do is in our recovery plan, our recovery protection plan, we actually say, what happens when these… 

Who are your people here at the school that you’re connected to? What would you like us to…? And so we actually try to support that previously to them having those interactions. So, we create safety around what they tell us they need. Some people need a hug, some people need to run, and that just tells us how we deal with that. I mean, I think every school should have something that says, hey, what if a kid is… You know, we call them heavy hitters or whatever. If a kid is dysregulated, what is our plan with them to keep them in our schools?