As a licensed clinical social worker in a public school in Maine, I am shocked and appalled at the lack of intervention following Gov. LePage’s direct verbal threat to shoot another human between the eyes. If a student had threatened another in a similar manner in my district, the following interventions would almost definitely occur:

First, the threatening child would be removed from the situation to ensure the safety of others. Next, an imminent clinical risk assessment would be completed by a licensed psychologist to determine whether the threatening student was safe to continue to attend school.

We would consider a possible multiple-day suspension, and mandatory counseling would be established to support the student.

I work in a middle school with developing children whose brains are not fully formed. They can be impulsive, reactive and emotionally unstable. And still, we take all threats seriously and respond in due process.

Why the most powerful man in Maine, the leader of our state, has not been held to the same standards of behavior expected of 12-year-old children is unfathomable. And – in the nature of a true social worker – are we missing an opportunity to help Mr. LePage during this very challenging time?

Jessica Sokol