Education for the Traumatized

I was a student who had a parent incarcerated. I was also a child who had two parents incarcerated. I was also a student who had a brother and cousin murdered by gun violence. Adding to this, my senior year of high school I had both my grandmothers, who helped raise me due to my parents being in prison die. On top of all this, the summer I graduated from high school my best friend, the brotha born 18 days before me in the same hospital was locked up due to a home invasion.

During all these traumatic events in the first 18 years of my life I could have easily turned into a monster. Maybe turned into a person is a bleak outlook on life. Fortunately for me, my oldest brother, my aunts and uncles, and family friends helped me stay focused. But what if school and school leaders learned more about trauma sensitive schooling? Hardly ever did I feel it was a safe environment to tell my classmates in school or teachers about the trauma I was experiencing that hindered my learning. Undoubtedly, my parents not being able to make parent/teacher conferences, football games, sporting events, dances, or even field trips was hard for me.

Interestingly enough, Trauma Sensitive research is being completed by scholars.But we cannot let only the scholars use this to further the research apparatus, there needs to be people on the ground, activist, teachers, community leaders, and other taking the theory and putting it to practice. Here is a link: http://traumasensitiveschools.org.

The “Helping Traumatized Children Learn” cite problematizes the impact of trauma on children’s learning by noting five positions on their webpage:

1. Many students have had traumatic experiences.
2. Trauma can impact learning, behavior and relationships at school.
3. Trauma sensitive schools help children feel safe to learn.
4. Trauma sensitivity requires a while school effort.
5. Helping traumatized children learn should be a major focus of education reform.

What are your thoughts about trauma sensitive school?

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