Childhood trauma harms kids. Can schools help fix the damage?

Jan 16, 2018 by

Domestic violence. Sexual abuse. An incarcerated parent.

Some students bring these experiences to school each day, lodged in their brain like textbooks in a backpack. Research shows that these childhood experiences negatively affect physical, social, emotional and academic health into adulthood.

It’s time for schools to embrace that, a former principal told a group of Yellowstone County educators, and to build it into the foundation of their schools.

Jim Sporleder advocates for a trauma-informed care approach that, in part, revolutionizes school discipline. His alternative school in Washington was featured in a well-known documentary, “Paper Tigers,” on the topic.

“The trauma research is so compelling,” he said. “We’ve got to be able to go through (students’) hearts if we want to get to their heads.”

The main research that Sporleder refers to dates to the 1990s, when researchers collected information from about 17,000 people about adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs.

Source: Childhood trauma harms kids. Can schools help fix the damage? | Montana |

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