Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


Communities throughout the United States were devastated by the COVID-19 virus. For instance, the mortality rates are higher within Black and Latina/o communities compared to the overall United States population. The pandemic represents another problem that will contribute to anxiety disorders and depression among Black and Latina/o students. How we combat these issues is important. During the 2020-2021 school year millions of students returned to schools and some struggled to adjust because of the traumatic experiences associated with COVID-19. Students will need the support of administrators, teachers, and mental health practitioners. For this reason, this review of literature examined the mental health challenges Black and Latina/o students encountered prior to and during the pandemic. Further, the authors developed recommendations for school leaders, mental health specialists, and teachers while providing important resources. Overall leaders can use the article as a roadmap to navigate the challenges at PreK-12 schools.


Dr. Larry J. Walker is an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Walker’s research focuses on race, leadership, and policy. Prior to working at UCF, he taught at Loyola University Maryland and Howard University. Additionally, he served as the Legislative Director for former Congressman Major R. Owens.

Michelle Sullivan, MA. Michelle is a doctoral student in the Methodology, Measurement, and Analysis track in the Education PhD program at the University of Central Florida. She received her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling at Rollins College, completing her clinical and student affairs practicum and internship at Stetson University Student Counseling Services.

Nicola Stewart-Walker has more than twenty years of experience as a School Psychologist working for the District of Columbia Public Schools. She specializes in supporting the needs of students from underserved and marginalized populations.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.