·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Mental Health

Families Changing Schools Often Due to Mental Health Concerns

— March 6, 2024

Parents are eager to change schools when kids’ mental health is suffering.

What is it that would cause a parent to make the difficult choice to move their child to a different school? Changing schools is almost always a big event, as it may mean going to a school that isn’t as close to home, and the child could be leaving friends or favorite teachers behind. So, if such a choice is made, it is usually based on some serious issues that need to be addressed. A recent report indicates that this is the case, and that the leading concern among parents is the mental health of their child. If the parent has reason to believe that the school is in some way contributing to any negative mental health issues being faced by the child, they may decide to switch schools in search of a better situation.

The research in question here was conducted by a consulting company named Tyton Partners. The group of parents surveyed were identified as those who are “open-minded” and potentially interested in school choice options. Within that group, 46% of people in the survey said that if they were to have their child change schools, it would be because of mental health concerns. This is a notable finding not only for other parents who might be feeling the same way and will be somewhat validated by having company, but also for districts who are going to need to address mental health concerns before too many of their students leave.

Families Changing Schools Often Due to Mental Health Concerns
Photo by RDNE Stock project from Pexels

It should be noted that these findings don’t necessarily signal the beginning of the end for the traditional school system, or anything like that. There are still plenty of appealing aspects for parents to keep their kids in the school system that they are familiar with, including the social networks they have formed, the extracurricular activities that are available, and more. It’s less about completely changing the existing system than it is about trying to upgrade mental health support, so kids get what they need.

There is always an element of financial complication in any of these kinds of situations. Federal relief funds that have been allocated to mental health services for school systems are set to potentially expire, which could lead to schools that are stretched thin from the perspective of having counselors available and offering other services that can protect mental health and keep kids on a positive track.

Ideally, no child should have to switch schools as a result of mental health issues, as school should be a place where all young people feel comfortable, welcomed, and supported. That’s not always the case in the real world, however, so it is at least a positive sign that parents feel strongly enough about the mental health of their children to switch schools in search of a positive shift in their mindset. Society as a whole has come a long way on mental health in recent years and the findings of this report only further that fact.


Report: Kids’ Mental Health Tops Reasons Why Parents Consider Changing Schools

Choose to Learn 2024: K-12 Parents Poised to Explore New Educational Options

NAMI: Mental Health in Schools

Join the conversation!