Susan Cole, Director of MAC’s Trauma & Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI) presented two break-out sessions at a White House Conference titled: “Trauma-Informed Approaches in School: Supporting Girls of Color and Rethinking Discipline.” Twenty states including Massachusetts sent teams to the event.
Susan presented on the education reform policy implications of trauma’s impact on learning, behavior, and relationships at school. She highlighted our Massachusetts law, passed in 2014, titled the Safe and Supportive Schools Framework. (MGL c69 Section 1P). This law sets the conditions for fostering safe, supportive environments that create a foundation for all children to learn.
Education Secretary King spoke of his own traumatic history and how the teachers in the New York City Schools literally helped him go on to be so successful. Susan stated, “it was an amazing experience to be at the White House with policymakers at the federal and state levels and educators talking all day about the role trauma is playing in learning, behavior, and relationships, and in the reasons behind the over suspension of girls of color. It really felt as though the issue we have all worked so hard to put on the education reform table is beginning to get the attention it deserves. ”