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What 1.6 Million American Students Are Missing

John B. King Jr. understood the importance of school counselors from a young age, because his own mother served as one in his school. “I can remember hearing her talk with my father about her students and the kinds of support she was providing them,” he says.

But when tragedy struck twice, taking his mother when he was just 8 and his father when he was 12, the importance of in-school support became starkly apparent. “It was an incredibly difficult experience, and I was fortunate to have teachers who really took on providing not only a great academic experience, but very significant socio-emotional support,” the U.S. secretary of educationsays, laying bare his personal sensitivity to the difference in-school support can make in children’s lives. So he’s “distressed” that 1.6 million American kids attend schools with law enforcement officers but no school counselor.