Public schools in the Sunshine State will offer a new kind of class soon, based on a growing social issue.Under a mandate that the state’s Board of Education passed on Wednesday, schools will be required to deliver a minimum of five hours of mental health instruction beginning in 6th grade.Education officials proposed the change to the curriculum last month, after discussing it with First Lady Casey DeSantis. She has prioritized the problem on her agenda.The courses will be geared toward helping students to identify signs and symptoms of mental illness, as well as toward finding resources for battling depression or other issues. They will also learn how to help their peers who may be dealing with a mental health disorder.According to Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, “We are going to reinvent school-based mental-health awareness in Florida, and we will be the number one state in the nation in terms of mental health outreach and school safety, all because of the governor’s and First Lady’s remarkable vision.” He adds that additional changes related to mental health awareness are planned, but did not elaborate.School districts around the state will have the ability to choose the kinds of classes their students will be required to take. Topics to be addressed will include cyberbullying, suicide prevention, and the impact of substance abuse.Mrs. DeSantis says, “We know that 50 percent of all mental illness cases begin by age 14, so we are being proactive in our commitment to provide our kids with the necessary tools to see them through their successes and challenges. Providing mental health instruction is another important step forward in supporting our families.”The implementation date for the new courses, as well as any potential schedule changes needed to fit them in with existing classes, are still being worked out, a Board of Education spokesperson said.
KRAIGG Brathwaite will spend a night in the nervous nineties after leading West Indies’ fightback against Pakistan in the third Test in Sharjah yesterday. Replying to Pakistan’s 281 all out in the United Arab Emirates, the Windies were in trouble at 68-4, but the watchful Brathwaite anchored a revival to steer his team to 244-6 at stumps on day two, the opener ending the day 95 not out alongside captain Jason Holder (6 no).His team still trailing Pakistan by 37, Brathwaite will hope to reach a deserved century and make further inroads as the Caribbean side seek to avoid a 3-0 series whitewash.Phil Simmons’ team, the designated visitors in the contest on neutral territory, made a bad start to their first innings, as Wahab Riaz (2-65) struck to remove Leon Johnson (1) lbw in the fourth over, a dismissal that prompted the West Indies’ top order to flounder early in their reply.Zulfiqar Babar (1-45) tempted Darren Bravo (11) to try and clear mid-off, but he succeeded only in slicing the ball to cover, where a diving Mohammad Amir took an acrobatic first catch in Test cricket.Marlon Samuels was trapped lbw by Yasir Shah (1-56) for a duck three overs later.Jermaine Blackwood got a start but failed to build on his 23, some poor footwork seeing him slice Amir (2-44) to Asad Shafiq at gully while attempting a drive.Roston Chase and surviving opener Brathwaite came together to mount some resistance, putting on 83 for the fifth wicket.Chase reached 50 but progressed no further, Amir’s angled delivery eliciting an outside edge taken at slip by Younis Khan.Shane Dowrich picked up where Chase left off by providing strong support for Brathwaite in another 83-run stand. He survived being dropped on 15 but fell just short of a half century of his own, out for 47 when he chopped Wahab onto his stumps.The same fate had befallen Pakistan’s tail-enders earlier in the day. Resuming on 255-8, they added a further 26 runs. Alzarri Joseph (2-57) did the damage, as length balls caused both Amir (20) and Yasir (12) to drag onto their own stumps.PAKISTAN 1st innings (Overnight: 255-8)S. Aslam c Holder b Bishoo 74Az. Ali c K. Brathwaite b Gabriel 0A. Shafiq lbw b Gabriel 0Y. Khan c Johnson b Chase 51Misbah-ul-Haq c Dowrich b Bishoo 53S. Ahmed b Gabriel 51M. Nawaz st Dowrich b Bishoo 6W. Riaz lbw b Bishoo 4Y. Shah b Joseph 12M. Amir b Joseph 20Z. Babar not out 1Extras (lb-4 nb-4 w-1) 9Total (all out, 90.5 overs) 281Fall of wickets: 1-1 Az. Ali,2-1 A. Shafiq,3-107 Y. Khan,4-150 S. Aslam,5-230 Misbah-ul-Haq,6-242 M. Nawaz,7-248 S. Ahmed,8-248 W. Riaz,9-280 M. Amir,10-281 Y. ShahBowling: S. Gabriel 21 – 1 – 67 – 3(nb-2), A. Joseph 16.5 – 5 – 57 – 2(nb-2 w-1),J. Holder 12 – 4 – 29 – 0, R. Chase 20 – 5 – 47 – 1, D. Bishoo 21 – 3 – 77 – 4.WEST INDIES 1st inningsK. Brathwaite not out 95L. Johnson lbw b Riaz 1Da. Bravo c Amir b Babar 11M. Samuels lbw b Shah 0J. Blackwood c Shafiq b Amir 23R. Chase c Y. Khan b Amir 50S. Dowrich b Riaz 47J. Holder not out 6Extras (lb-6 nb-5) 11Total (for 6 wickets, 78 overs) 244Fall of wickets: 1-6 L. Johnson,2-32 Da. Bravo,3-38 M. Samuels,4-68 J. Blackwood,5-151 R. Chase,6-234 S. DowrichTo bat: D. Bishoo, S. Gabriel, A. JosephBowling: M. Amir 17 – 4 – 44 – 2(nb-2), W. Riaz 16 – 0 – 65 – 2(nb-3)Y. Shah 18 – 2 – 56 – 1, Z. Babar 17 – 3 – 45 – 1 , M. Nawaz 4 – 0 – 12 – 0,Az. Ali 6 – 0 – 16 – 0.