Schools That Separate the Child from the Trauma

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Excerpt from article by David Bornstein

…Across the country, in Brockton, Mass., just south of Boston, the process and experience have been similar. Six years ago at the Angelo Elementary School, the principal Ryan Powers and the assistant principal Elizabeth Barry connected with the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (T.L.P.I.), a collaboration of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and Harvard Law School, to learn how they could improve their interactions with students. They encouraged teachers to read T.L.P.I.’s book “Helping Traumatized Children Learn,” which has been downloaded 50,000 times. (The follow-up book, “Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools,” is being released this week.)

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Overcoming Hurdles to a Child’s Success

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In a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times, TLPI Director Susan Cole thanks columnist David Brooks for drawing attention to the effect trauma can have on children. She highlights the importance of supporting those organizations working to address this effect through the growing “trauma-sensitive schools” movement.

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Trauma-Sensitive Schools Are Better Schools, Part Two

Article by Jane Ellen Stevens

Take a short walk on the dark side of our public education system, and you learn some disturbing lessons about school punishment. First. U.S. schools suspend millions of kids — 3,328,750, to be exact. Since the 1970s, says a National Education Policy Center report published in October 2011, the suspension rate’s nearly doubled for white kids, to nearly 6 percent. It’s more than doubled for Hispanics to 7 percent, and to a stunning 15 percent for blacks. For Native Americans, it’s almost tripled, from 3 percent to 8 percent.

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Trauma-Sensitive Schools Are Better Schools

Article by Jane Ellen Stevens

Since at least 2005, a few dozen individual schools across the U.S. have adopted some type of trauma-sensitive approach. But the centers of gravity for most of the action are in Massachusetts and Washington. These two states lead the way in taking a district-wide approach to integrating trauma-informed practices, with an eye to state-wide adoption.

Without a school-wide approach, “it’s very hard to address the role that trauma is playing in learning,” says Susan Cole, director of the Trauma an Learning Policy Initiative, a joint project of Harvard Law School and Massachusetts Advocates for Children.

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