Our chosen solution consists of measures to ensure that student's accumulation of stress would not extend to unmanageable conditions that could produce an unhealthy lifestyle in and out of the academic setting. The three main measures that would back up the solution to teen stress in our region are:
Different governments of the political hierarchy would play different roles in contributing to the solution. Local Governments (municipalities) would be permitted to tax accordingly (as such powers have been granted under fiscal authorities given from the state) in order to fund informative programs concerning stress. The State Government would play a crucial role when implementing the solution. It would be necessary to devote a larger portion of the state’s budget towards education in order to adequately pay for more teachers in public schools to create smaller ratios between the students and teachers.
Our group prioritized these three factors behind our solution because it covers the majority of the spectrum of vulnerability for stress on teens. A study conducted as a part of “Confronting Teen Stress, Meeting the Challenge in Baltimore City” concluded that 68% of teens and 78% of the youth dubbed school work to be the primary factor responsible for over-buildups of stress, with parental and peer relations following closely behind. Our solution attempts to utilize school resources as well as student resources in order to effectively stop the stress problem.
The entirety of our solution is constitutional. The first part of our solution in making sure that student/teacher ratios are funded properly by the State would solely hinge on whether or not the school is willing to assume such a management burden. The State government would be able to ensure that schools implement this program by giving schools and local governments funding incentives that would stem from the education portion of the State budget. States would also be able to pass legislature for public schools to not assign multiple tests in a single day under the argument that they are “taking measures for public safety” on behalf of student health/stress. Lastly, the locally
funded programs to inform students and parents alike as to how stress may affect them could also fall under the argument that the State is passing legislature to ensure public safety, however, the likelihood of such legislation being passed is not extremely high. These programs would definitely revolve around whether or not the local government is willing to take measures to
benefit the mental health of students.
The 10th Amendment also states that all powers not stated in the constitution are reserved to the states. Since the Constitution does not refer to education policy, thus individual states have the right to combat student stress. Also, the Constitution of New Jersey states, "The Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all the children in the State between the ages of five and eighteen years" Considering that student stress interferes with goal of creating an efficient public education system, the New Jersey state Legislature and local municipalities are constitutionally permitted to make these changes.
Ultimately we are looking to reduce levels of stress in students without completely re-arranging school schedules and altering curriculum. Our belief is that the best way to deal with this issue is to prepare students and to offer them more outlets they can turn to when their schedules get to hectic and to also ensure that schools take action to prevent students from becoming overwhelmed. The school can only control so much of what teachers and students do on a day-to-day basis so we should work to prep students and counselors so they realize and understand the workload they are taking on and how to best utilize their time and resources.