TAMPA, Fla. — As schools opened their doors again this fall, there were many unexpected twists and turns.

Everything from teacher and bus driver shortages to a lack of food for students at lunch time.     

What You Need To Know

  • Schools continue to deal with issues from pandemic

  • Staffing and food shortages to an increase in school violence

  • Mental health experts say pandemic has helped create a perfect storm of issues

And what some districts are experiencing now is worse than what they could have anticipated. From an increase in violence against teachers and students, to vandalism. Even violent threats against schools like this one that circulated in Tampa just last week.

A year ago, school leaders were focused on making sure there were no educational gaps for students learning from home. But some things were pushed into the background, like socialization skills and mental health of students.

Now, mental health experts say those issues along with the polarizing world we live in today has created a perfect storm of sorts.

Motivational speaker Adolph “Doc” Brown has traveled to hundreds of schools nationwide during the pandemic

"I've yet to meet a child that would tell you after the fact that they wanted to do whatever horrendous act they were involved in,” Brown said. “They wanted to get help. They wanted the pain to stop."

Brown said collaboration between administrators, teachers, parents and students will be key in solving the problem.

Better social media behavior -- and above all else - giving everyone around us a break.

"We have to take a step back and kind of take a deep breath and as the children say, chill out,” Brown said. “We have, I mean there is so much happening and it's happening non-stop. And one thing we all can control is ourselves.  And I go back to the inner me. The inner me, as opposed to the enemy."

It likely will take a concerted and long-term effort to stamp out this nasty side effect of the pandemic.