As most schools across the country are back to in-person learning, the detrimental effects of school lockdowns during coronavirus are showing themselves in real time: high levels of student depression and developmental and academic stunting.
“Kids have the highest level of anxiety I’ve ever seen: anxiety about basic safety and fear of what could happen,” Colorado elementary school counselor Susan Julien told the New York Times, which conducted a survey of 362 school counselors nationwide.
“The foundational skills for learning need to be retaught,” said Georgia middle school counselor Tierney Langdon.
Children appear to have taken the brunt of the suffering from draconian lockdown measures and mask mandates in schools, many of which were unnecessary and ineffectual at stopping the spread of the coronavirus but were devastating to the personal development of America’s children.
Counselors “described many students as frozen, socially and emotionally, at the age they were when the pandemic started,” according to the Times.
“Something that we continuously come back to is that our ninth graders were sixth graders the last time they had a normative, uninterrupted school year,” Chicago high school counselor Jennifer Fine said. “Developmentally, our students have skipped over crucial years of social and emotional development.”
Overall, 94 percent of counselors surveyed reported heightened levels of anxiety and depression, while 88 percent reported emotional control issues, and nearly 75 percent reported conflict resolution problems.
In addition, 72 percent of counselors reported students regularly breaking classroom rules, 67 percent reported signs of low self esteem, and 59 percent reported students having trouble making friends.
While Breitbart News reported diligently the warnings and effects of such lockdowns would have on America’s children — including warnings from prominent pediatric and psychiatric associations — mostly Democrat-run school districts and states forced children into their homes for two years during the pandemic, where they were forced to stare at computer screens, isolated from their peers.
“They prefer screen time with friends as opposed to doing things with friends,” Michigan counselor Amy Flynn said.
“Teamwork skills are almost nonexistent,” Tennessee counselor Emily Fain-Lynch added.
Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admitted there is an adolescent mental health crisis due to the draconian coronavirus protocols it recommended.
According to CDC data, more than 44 percent of American teens reported “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness,” while nearly 20 percent seriously considered suicide, and 9 percent actually did attempt suicide in 2020.
“These data echo a cry for help,” Debra Houry, a CDC deputy director, said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created traumatic stressors that have the potential to further erode students’ mental well-being.”
While the virus was known early on to affect young persons at a drastically lower rate than adults, the CDC and other government officials were relentless in their advocacy for masking and shuttering schools — both of which contributed heavily to learning loss and mental health issues.
“They have less stamina; more frustration; less flexibility; less effort; less perseverance; more escape and avoidance behaviors,” Wisconsin elementary school counselor Cassie Cerny told the Times.
“Anxiety is filling our kids right now,” Colorado elementary school counselor Jennifer Schlatter said. “They are worried about their family and friends. They are stressed because they are behind in school.”
Only six out of all 362 (1.6 percent) counselors surveyed reported social and emotional skills being back to normal.
Biden-appointed Surgeon General Vivek Murthy even pointed out that “depression and anxiety symptoms for youth around the world had doubled during the pandemic and that clinical data also revealed that ‘suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls and 4% higher for adolescent boys compared to the same time period in early 2019.’”
“‘Pandemic-related measures … made it harder to recognize signs of child abuse, mental health concerns, and other challenges’ children were facing given the ‘reduced in-person interactions among children, friends, social supports, and professionals such as teachers [and] school counselors,’” Murthy’s study stated.
Along with the mental health issues, many of the nation’s children have suffered severe learning loss, with more than 33 percent of students who started school during the pandemic needing “intensive” reading intervention.
Likewise, some school districts like Baltimore implemented new grading systems that allow students to fail classes but progress to the next grade anyway, resulting in students who are severely unprepared for life after high school. As Breitbart News reported, such a policy left 77 percent of one Baltimore high school’s student reading proficiency at an elementary or kindergarten level.
Conversely, school districts that did not pursue lockdown measures saw students thrive as they attempted to keep school life “as normal as possible.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.