From Oxford University Press:
In the wake of another national tragedy, it is more apparent than ever that our schools must embrace a stronger role in supporting the mental health of our youth by developing trauma-sensitive schools. The mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that killed several staff and 20 elementary school students came less than two months after Hurricane Sandy, a storm that brought devastation and displacement to tens of thousands of people in the Northeast. Both events offer stark reminders of the acute stress our students may face when experiencing cataclysmic events. However, even in the absence of such tragedies, many of our nation’s children are in chronic distress.
Despite our collective efforts, youth continue to have adverse and traumatic experiences, such as chronic child maltreatment, domestic and community violence, homelessness, natural disasters, parental substance abuse, death of a loved one, and the list goes on. These experiences can significantly undermine the ability to learn, form relationships, and manage emotions and behavior; all critical components of succeeding in school and in life. To improve our country’s education system, we must first address these barriers to progress; and schools remain the most logical place to do it.