The New York Times describes the momentum building behind a movement for trauma-sensitive schools in Massachusetts and around the country in an article today titled “Schools that Separate the Child from the Trauma” by journalist David Bornstein. Citing to Volumes 1 and 2 of Helping Traumatized Children Learn, Bornstein highlights TLPI’s whole-school approach as well as its partnership with the Brockton Public Schools, a promising example of how schools can use an understanding of trauma’s impacts on learning to create school environments that enable all students to learn.
Says Bornstein, “Making sure that schools … are sensitized in these ways is not just about assisting those children who have endured extreme stress. It’s not just about helping them get through school, either. It’s about taking care of everyone.”
We hope that our new book Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools will allow other schools and districts to benefit from the lessons learned by educators in Brockton and other pioneering schools in Massachusetts. These schools have shown us how they use trauma-sensitivity to reduce punitive discipline, improve attendance and time on learning, and much more. When schools are supported by laws and policies that promote the creation of trauma-sensitive learning environments (like An Act Relative to Safe and Supportive Schools, which Bornstein highlights), educators can make a huge difference in the school success of all children, including those who have faced adversity.
As Bornstein concludes, “This isn’t soft-headed thinking; it’s the only approach that makes any sense.”