Student Well-Being

Teachers Can Be Key to Helping Students Cope With Trauma, Ed. Sec. Says

By Alyson Klein — September 19, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria workers come across students who are dealing with trauma in their own lives every day, and districts and states need to make sure they know how to respond, U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., said at a White House conference Monday.

King talked about his own experiences growing up with a father who had undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease. His teachers made sure that he felt safe and challenged at school, ultimately putting him on the track to success.

“Today’s conversation is about policy,” King told attendees of a White House event on dealing with student trauma, but it’s also about “how we create school environments that save kids’ lives.”

The White House conference, titled “Trauma-Informed Approaches in School: Supporting Girls of Color and Rethinking Discipline” sought to find solutions for disproportionately high suspension rates among black girls. Black girls represent 8 percent of enrolled students, but are 14 percent of students receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions. It was sponsored by the White House Council on Women and Girls, together with the U.S. Department of Education, the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, and The National Crittenton Foundation.

Trauma could be part of the reason, and experts enumerated ideas for helping to alleviate its impact—everything from dance and movement therapy to mentoring and counseling.

The Education Department also released some new resources to help districts combat the problem, including “Safe Place to Learn,” an online toolkit that includes information about trauma sensitivity and online training programs to help educators learn how to work with kids who may be suffering from trauma.

And the administration developed guidance to help district officials figure out how to protect K-12 students from sexual assault. Ideas include bringing in a wide range of voices to draft policies to address the issue (including students and experts), allowing community members and educators to vet the policy before it becomes final, and providing extensive training to staff on implementation.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion Educators, Be Future-Ready, But Don’t Ignore the Present
Being ready for what lies ahead is important, but we also need to gain a better understanding of the here and now.
5 min read
shutterstock 226918177
Shutterstock
Student Well-Being Opinion How to Prioritize Student Well-Being This Year
Use the Student Thriving Index to find out where your kids stand. Because you cannot manage what you cannot measure.
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty
Student Well-Being Spotlight Spotlight on Supporting Teachers & Students
In this Spotlight, evaluate your district and what supports your schools offer, assess attendance policies to avoid burnout, and more
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Child Hospitalizations Spike Under Delta, Particularly in Low-Vaccination States
Nationwide, the number of children and teens hospitalized due to COVID-19 has ballooned nearly tenfold since midsummer, new CDC data show.
2 min read
hopital stethescope 1222194507
Aleksandr Titov/iStock/Getty