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MA: "Over 90 percent of teachers...reported that student trauma is a challenge at their schools"

June 15, 2018, Mass. Commonwealth: Acknowledging the everyday trauma in students’ lives Education experts: HIGH-PROFILE ACTS of violence in schools have, rightly, received our attention – and the headlines. However, there is a deeper story: pervasive trauma experienced by too many inner-city youth, often deemed routine, which is ultimately ignored.... Dealing with trauma in schools has become one of the most pervasive issues for educators and, as such, has become the main advocacy issue for members of Educators for Excellence-Boston, a nonprofit that champions teacher input on education policy. ...

Students enter their classrooms with innate strength, resiliency, and a desire to learn and grow. However, for many, their will to learn can be overwhelmed by such upheaval. In order for students to feel safe and supported, teachers are taking extra measures, from mentoring to helping students’ families gain access to community resources. And yet, despite best intentions and intensely difficult work, extra efforts are not enough for students coping with trauma. ...More counselors and psychologists would be a first step in addressing this issue. For an even bigger impact, teachers themselves need to be trained and informed. Over 90 percent of teachers surveyed by Educators for Excellent-Boston reported that student trauma is a challenge at their schools. Yet 70 percent said they do not have training to tackle this issue and just over half said they do not have adequate staffing to address it…. Brandy Fluker-Oakley is the executive director of Educators for Excellence-Boston. Rosalinda Midence is a community field coordinator at Boston Day and Evening Academy and has over 20 years of experience working as an educator at Boston Public Schools.

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