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Idaho: Teachers need to learn that ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES cause school violence

Aug 26, 2018, Idaho State Journal: Creating safe environments for our children Roger Sherman is the executive director of the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund which is the state affiliate of Prevent Child Abuse America. …From my lens as an advocate for children with a focus on preventing child abuse and neglect, our schools need to become trauma informed. Teachers need to learn more about the impacts of traumatic childhood experiences and their prevalence. Research tells us that over 50 percent of Idaho’s children have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives. We all need to learn more about what drives a young person like Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter, to become a killer. We need to understand that hurt people will hurt other people…. The landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides some clues. It showed that childhood trauma, i.e. abuse, neglect and serious family dysfunctions, have long-term behavioral and health effects into adulthood. Researchers have found links between ACEs and health and social outcomes including depression, suicidal ideation and suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, hallucinations, insufficient sleep, intimate partner violence, heart disease, sexual assault, teen pregnancy, low yearly income, separation and divorce. School personnel are in a unique position to address the needs of children who are in pain because of the ACEs they have experienced. We know that children who have experienced several ACEs live in a near constant state of toxic stress which makes learning difficult if not impossible. Failure in school and resultant social isolation and bullying can lead to the kind of alienation that Cruz and other school shooters have felt….

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