Lexington, SC (WLTX) - Counselors are needed in schools around South Carolina. Especially in today's climate, where pressures from social media, bullying and school shootings are making a greater impact on students.
"The more school counselors there are to be able to work with students, the better we are going to be at predicting who may need extra support," says Anna Duvall, school counselor and president of the Palmetto State School Counselor Association (PSSCA).
Duvall says counselors offers services in three domains, academic, career and personal/social.
"Here lately over the past couple of years, the demands of our personal/social expertise has exploded."
A Tegna-wide investigation found that one in four schools around the nation don’t have any counselors at all and nearly one in five school districts in the U.S. don’t have any district wide.
Here in South Carolina, every school district has at least one counselor, but their workload is increasing.
The American School Counselor Association recommends no more than 250 students per one counselor, but in South Carolina the state mandated ratio is 300 students per counselor for grades 6-12 and 800 students per counselor for grades K-5.
Many schools in the midlands fall within the state mandated ratio. However, there is still much work to do.
Duvall says her concern now is with shrinking the elementary school ratio.
"Our students are coming to us with many more needs than they have in the past, and meeting those needs early is what I think will help us in the long run."
When asked why there is hasn't been as much emphasis on school counselors around the state, Duvall explained that is how it has always been, but she stresses that it's time for a change, especially now the demand to help students is greater.
"They're being hit with so many stressors, they need support and we need to be here to support them."