By 1900, there had already been some three-dozen deaths by motor vehicles. This was at a time when the top speed of the Columbia, made by Hartford-based Pope Manufacturing, was 13 miles an hour. Cars got faster, and ubiquitous. Just a half century later, the number of motor vehicle deaths had reached epidemic proportions, 53,000 and rising. All along, safety features were being added, from turn signals in the ‘20s to padded dashboards in the ‘40s.
After Adam Lanza broke Connecticut’s heart last December, speculation about what made him do it ran the gamut from easy access to guns to the shooter’s difficulty dealing with peers. Some news articles mentioned that before his death, Lanza had shut himself in his mother’s Newtown basement and played violent video games. Only a few people took note. One, a 12-year old Newtown boy, started a “Played Out” movement to dump violent video games, and other towns – including Southington – followed suit. But mostly, gamers played on, secure in the knowledge that their passion was protected by the First Amendment.
As a “classroom interventionist,” Stephanie Galluzo’s job is to help students who act out in class to settle down and refocus. Teachers find this new classroom management tool a huge benefit for them, as they concentrate on the whole class and aren’t distracted by one child. Experts say the in-class integration of behavioral health specialists – rare in Connecticut schools — is helpful in identifying and averting potentially more serious anti-social behaviors. In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, in which 20 children and six adults were killed, there has been much talk about the need for improved mental health services to identify and treat vulnerable children before it’s too late. The classroom interventionist program at the Church Street School in Hamden is part of a larger pilot initiative called the Educational Care Collaborative, which aims to improve behavioral health services. Much as children with learning disabilities are given in-class aides, the program assigns interventionists to classrooms where children have mental health challenges.