Buffalo, NY: Teachers learn that disruptive behavior is caused by trauma at home

Feb 5, 2018, WBFO FM, Buffalo, NY: Getting to the root cause of disruptive student behavior Whole child teams are in place in the Buffalo Public school district working to improve behavior among students. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the issue of disruptive student behavior surfaced last week when the Buffalo Teachers Federation issued results of a student behavior survey. “Disruptive behavior has a root cause. Our disruptive children are in pain. They need help,” declared Jessica Bauer Walker, executive director, Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo. … Since 2011, the city district has been using results from Youth Risk Behavior Survey. It's a national research tool from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In recent years trauma has emerged as a major behavioral problem for some city school students. “Some of data that came back from that with the last survey in 2015 said that 35-percent of our students have seen somebody beaten, stabbed or shot in their neighborhood, it's a pretty significant number, that 14-percent of our students have been physically harmed in their own homes, 16-percent of students have lived with someone who has had a mental health diagnosis and 25-percent of students have lived with someone who has a substance abuse or alcohol abuse issue,” Bauer explained. “Looking at these numbers – we’re thinking about disruptive behavior – it’s pretty challenging for someone, especially a child – who is not a fully formed human – who doesn’t know how to respond to some of these issues to come to school and be expected to focus and learn. So if our teachers and administrators and our schools are not aware of those issues that some of our students are dealing with – clearly they’re going to have some disruptive behaviors.” The District is supporting the use of Positive Behavior intervention through Trauma Informed Care and Restorative Justice. Walker said as both a parent and community partner, she wants to assist teachers in supporting their challenges in city classrooms